Housing Starts Rise

Better weather across the United States in December of 2004 produced a bit of a boom in housing starts. Starts for privately-owned housing were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.004 million last month, 10.9% above the revised November rate of 1.807 million, the U.S. Commerce Department and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly reported on Jan. 19.

Economists had anticipated December starts would be higher than November's. But they expected a rate of about 1.9 million, some 104,000 less than it actually was.

Starts for single-family housing were at an annual rate of 1.678 million in December, 13.1% higher than November's rate of 1.483 million. Starts for multi-family buildings was at an annual rate of 291,000 in December, 1.7% higher than November's rate of 286,000.

For all of 2004, some 1,953,400 housing units were started, 5.7% higher than the 2003 figure of 1,847,700.

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