Building permits up, housing starts fall

Permits rise 45% year-over-year in Northeast

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Housing units authorized by building permits were up year-over-year and month-to-month in December, even as housing starts and completions were down on a monthly and year-over-year basis, according to a report on new residential construction by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"Builders have acted prudently by cutting back production during a period of low demand and uncertainty in the overall market," said Joe Robson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, in a statement.