January 19, 2012 / 1:38 PM / 7 years ago

Housing starts drop more than expected in December

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Housing starts fell in December as groundbreaking on rental property posted a big decline, splashing some cold water on hopes the still-weak housing sector could boost economic growth this year.

The Commerce Department said on Thursday housing starts fell 4.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 657,000 units.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast housing starts edging down to a 680,000-unit rate in December.

Starts of buildings with five or more units dropped 27.8 percent to a 164,000-unit rate, the biggest drop since February.

Tempering the overall decline, groundbreaking on single family buildings rose 4.5 percent to a 470,000-unit rate.

Permits fell 0.1 percent to an annual rate of 679,000 units.

Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Neil Stempleman

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below