The number of homes being built in December plunged to the lowest level in more than two years, a possible sign that developers are anticipating fewer new houses to be sold this year. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that housing starts fell 11.2 percent in December from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.08 million. This is the slowest pace of construction since September 2016.
Over the past 12 months, housing starts have tumbled 10.2 percent. December’s decline occurred for single-family houses and apartment buildings. Builders have pulled back as higher prices have caused home sales to slump, suggesting that affordability challenges have caused the pool of would-be buyers and renters to dwindle.
“Artificially high prices have created affordability constraints, resulting in a situation where builders cannot deliver supply in scale,” said Brad Dillman, chief economist for the multi-family developer Cortland. “The result is that today’s housing market is undersupplied.”
The original Associated Press article was picked up by additional media outlets, including:
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