Recent data shows the housing recovery is holding steady. Housing permits and starts in January were close to December levels with single family homes showing small gains and total starts off slightly. Sales of existing single family homes were little changed in January from December and the inventory of homes for sale was down modestly. Overall the picture is continued strength even though we’re not seeing the strong advances of a few months ago. Given the winter season and difficult weather in much of the nation, these flat reports are not a cause for concern.
In the numbers, total permits for new construction were 925,000 in January compared to 909,000 in December. Permits for single family homes were 584,000 in January, up from 573,00o in December; all at annual rates. For starts the total number was 890,000 in January, down from 973,000 in December with single family homes at 613,000 in Januayr, up slightly from 608,000 in December. Sales of existing homes in January from the National Association of Realtors were 4.92 million compared 4.94 million the month before.