WASHINGTON–Housing starts and permits issued for new residential construction plummeted in December, compared both with November and with December 2006.
The U.S. Commerce Department reported this morning that construction on new private homes during the month fell to a little more than a million units at an annual rate, a drop of more than 14 percent over the month and more than 38 percent on a year-over-year basis.
A similar picture was presented for permits required to begin building. In December, a little less than 1.1 million permits were issued, reflecting a monthly decline of more than 8 percent and a yearly drop of more than 34 percent.
Starts of housing were down in every region of the country both monthly and yearly. Permits were also down in all regions on a yearly basis and in most regions monthly, but they were up slightly in the Northeast over the month.