Housing Starts Beat Forecast
Housing starts in the US fell 3.6 percent from a month earlier to an annualized 1.567 million units in January of 2020 but beat market forecasts of 1.425 million. Housing starts for December were revised up to 1.626 million units from 1.608 million, the highest level since December of 2006. In January, single-family housing which is the largest share of the housing market, went down 5.9 percent to 1.010 million units from 1.073 million in December which was the highest since June of 2007. On the other hand, starts for the volatile multi-family segment increased 3 percent to 0.547 million. Starts declined in the South (-5.4 percent to 0.778 million) and the Midwest (-25.9 percent to 0.18 million) but rose in the West (1.2 percent to 0.431 million) and the Northeast (31.9 percent to 0.178 million). Meanwhile, building permits jumped 9.2% to 1.551 million, well above expectations of 1.450 million and the highest level since March 2007.