The Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau today released data on new residential construction in January 2011. Permits for new homes fell 10.4 percent in January, compared with private sector expectations of a 13.1 percent decline. (Today’s decline in permits follows a 13.2 percent rise in December, predominantly due to scheduled changes in building codes, as builders sought to obtain permits ahead of the code change). Overall housing starts increased 14.6 percent, driven primarily by a rise in multi-family housing starts – a widely variable component. Single-family housing starts in January decreased 1.0 percent, compared with private-sector expectations of a 0.2 percent increase.
“As we continue to see from today’s report, month-to-month housing market data can be volatile, and the industry continues to suffer from the affects of the recession,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “But as the president’s 2012 budget makes clear, building a sound economic future that includes a strong housing market requires smart investments that enhance competitiveness, create jobs and drive economic growth – investments that will support the long-term stability of the U.S. economy and help us win the future.” Click here to download the report' ' ) ); ?>