Housing starts declined in December 2011

Housing starts fell 4.1 percent from November 2011 to December 2011, according to The Wall Street Journal. Construction decreased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 657,000.

However, the decline mainly was a result of a more than 20 percent drop in construction of multifamily homes with at least two units; that part of the market tends to swing frequently.

Additionally, the single-family sector made up more than 70 percent of housing starts in December 2011. Single-family construction actually increased 4.4 percent from November 2011 to December 2011 and reached its highest level since April 2010.

Although the gradual recovery of housing starts recently has been encouraging, there still are obstacles. Since 1959, about 1.5 million new homes on average have been started each year. In 2011, construction was started on only 607,000 homes; this is the best year since 2008 but the third-worst year since the government began keeping records.

Date : 1/24/2012