Condos lead housing sales, starts

Washington -- Helped by warmer weather and lower asking prices for homes, housing starts jumped up by 4.5% in December, but the gain was all in condominium and apartment construction while the key market for single-family homes fell off by 4.1%, the Commerce Department reported.

Accounting for all of the month's gain, the nation's housing developers continued to break ground at a hectic pace for multi-family housing, with starts for buildings of five or more units racing ahead by 30.6% to a seasonally adjusted level of 350,000, up from 268,000 in November. It marked the single biggest monthly gain in the apartment and condominium market since January 2006, when starts hit a 13-month high of 424,000.

But builders continued to hedge their bets on the bigger market for single-family homes, and starts there fell by 4.1% to a seasonally adjusted level of 1.2 million units as developers worked to rein in inventories as prices tapered off.

Single-family starts are now off more than 32% from a 13-month high of 1.8 million units in January 2006.

In a sign that builders are growing more bullish, developers took out building permits at an accelerated rate in December, the pace increasing by 5.5%, to 1.6 million units. Single-family home permits edged up by 1.2%, but were sharply outpaced by permits for apartments and condominiums, which shot up by 19.0%, but remained 7.1% beneath their year-ago level.

Home & Textiles Today Staff | News & Commentary

 Home Textiles Today is the market-leading brand covering the home and textiles markets, offering a comprehensive package of print and online products. Home & Textiles Today provides industry news, product trends and introductions, exclusive industry research, consumer data, store operations solutions, trade show news and much more.

Featured Video

  • Live From New York: Fashion Comes Across the Pond

    Camera Icon More Videos

Subscribe to
Home & Textiles Today eDaily
Receive the news you need to know about the trends in the industry delivered right to your inbox.

CURRENT ISSUE

HTT Current issue for September 2017

See the September 2017 issue of Home & Textiles Today. In this issue, we look at the Attack of the Killer Third Tier: Monster off-pricers are climbing to the top of the food chain, plus New Products: 40 pages of new products debuting at the New York Home Fashions Market; Home Stores: TJX unveils first U.S. HomeSense store; Clicks to Bricks: Boll & Branch moves from digital to physical retailing; and much more... See details!