December Housing Starts Declined 28,000 to 657,000 (Down 4%)

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December housing starts stood at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 657,000. This is a decline of 28,000, or 4%, compared to November 2011, but an increase of 25% compared to December 2010.

Although this month’s figure may initially look troubling, December is consitently a slow month for housing starts. Since 2000, December housing starts increased only three times: in 2002, 2004, and 2006. Excluding those positive three years, December housing starts decline an average of 5% each year with a median of 4%. The highest December decline was 14% in 2008; the lowest 1.2% in 2009. Thus, this December’s decline is below the average since 2000.

-From the St. Louis Federal Reserve

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