January home construction falls 6%; signs of rebound ahead

WASHINGTON — U.S. home construction fell 6% in January but applications for building permits, which typically signal activity ahead, rose sharply.

The decline pushed home and apartment construction down to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.58 million units last month, compared with 1.68 million in December, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

Single-family construction starts dropped 12.2% while construction of apartment units rose 16.2%.

Even with the January dip, ultra-low mortgage rates and rising demand from Americans ready for a bigger house after a year of living in a pandemic will in all likelihood mean a strong year for the housing market in 2021.

Hints of a sustained housing push

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