Single-family housing starts increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 823,000 in January, according to new residential construction data released by the Commerce Department Thursday morning. This month's result marks a 1.9% increase from December's downwardly-revised rate of 808,000, but represents a 6.2% gain compared to January 2016, when the estimate was 775,000.

All regions excluding the West experienced a month-over-month increase in one-unit housing starts. Following a dip a last month, starts increased most significantly in the South, rising 9.6% from December's estimate of 418,000 to 458,000 in January. Single-family starts also increased in the Northeast and Midwest, rising 8.6% and 6.3%, respectively. rising 2.8% from November levels and 17.0% year-over-year. The West saw a dramatic decrease in starts month-over-month, decreasing 18.6% to an estimate of 166,000, compared to Decembers rate of 204,000. Despite the large dip in January, the estimate for single-family starts in the West still marks a 5.7% increase from January 2016's estimate of 157,000.

Total housing permits, the leading indicator for future starts, increased 4.6% in January, due to a a significant 23.5% increase in permits for multifamily structures with 5-units or more. Single-family permits dipped -2.7%, indicating that next month's report will likely post a decrease in starts. January's decline is attributed to a -17.2% decrease in the West, were permits issues for one-unit structures fell to an estimate of 168,000. Single-family permits increased most significantly in the Northeast, rising 7.3% month-over-month, while the Midwest and South saw small gains of 1.7% and 1.6%, respectively. i

Total privately-owned housing completions decreased -5.6% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,047,000, marking the second month of decline. The dip in completions is due to a -26.9% decrease in completions of multifamily structures with 5-units or more, which has declined the past two months. Conversely, single-family home completions have increased the past two months, increasing 4.3% in January to an estimate of 800,000.


Read the full release from the Commerce Department here>>