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U.S. Housing Starts Decline 4.3% in December

Privately-owned housing starts in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 529,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 4.3 percent below the revised November estimate of 553,000 and 8.2 percent below the December 2009 rate of 576,000.

Single-family housing starts in December were at a rate of 417,000, 9 percent below the revised November figure of 458,000. The December rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 102,000.

Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 635,000. This is 16.7 percent above the revised November rate of 544,000, but is 6.8 percent below the December 2009 estimate of 681,000.

Single-family authorizations in December were at a rate of 440,000; this is 5.5 percent above the revised November figure of 417,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 172,000 in December.

Privately-owned housing completions in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 585,000. This is 4.1 percent above the revised November estimate of 562,000, but is 22.2 percent below the December 2009 rate of 752,000.

Single-family housing completions in December were at a rate of 463,000; this is 5.5 percent above the revised November rate of 439,000. The December rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 111,000.

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