WASHINGTON–Notwithstanding a small uptick in housing starts in January, both starts and permits issued for new residential construction fell steeply compared with the same month a year ago.
The U.S. Commerce Department reported this morning that housing starts, at slightly more than a million units on an annual basis, were down 27.9 percent over the year.
During the same period, permits, also at slightly more than a million issued, were down 33.1 percent.
Compared with December 2007, January’s starts were up 0.8 percent, reflecting a mild, and perhaps temporary, strengthening in the Northeast and Midwest regions. Annually, however, starts were down across the country.
Permits were up slightly in the Midwest on a monthly basis, but like starts were down everywhere when compared with January 2007.