US Home Construction Tumbled 8.2 Percent in December - NBC Southern California
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US Home Construction Tumbled 8.2 Percent in December

The pullback is taking place even with prospective buyers competing for a dwindling pool of homes for sale, which has caused prices to surge faster than wage growth

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    US Home Construction Tumbled 8.2 Percent in December
    AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File
    In this Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, photo, construction continues on a high-rise condominium project in Miami. On Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, the Commerce Department reports on U.S. home construction in December.

    Groundbreakings on new homes fell 8.2 percent in December, with builders ending 2017 by slowing down their construction of single-family houses.

    The Commerce Department said Thursday that the monthly decline put U.S. housing starts at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.19 million units. Almost all of the decrease came from builders beginning work on fewer single-family houses, a reversal from the robust gains reported in October and November.

    The pullback is taking place even with prospective buyers competing for a dwindling pool of homes for sale, which has caused prices to surge faster than wage growth. The hot housing market is being fueled by a strengthening job market. The unemployment rate is holding steady at a 17 year-low of 4.1 percent, and mortgage rates have hovered at attractive levels in recent weeks.

    For all of 2017, housing starts have risen 2.4 percent. Single-family house construction drove the entire annual increase, while the building of apartment complexes plunged last year as more renters appear to be seeking properties to buy. The slight gains in construction have been unable to fully offset the drastic fall over the past year in the number of existing homes put up for sale.

    Colorado Man Charged with Five Counts of Murder in Deaths of Wife and Daughters

    [NATL] Colorado Man Charged with Five Counts of Murder in Deaths of Wife and Daughters

    Christopher Lee Watts was charged with five counts of murder Monday for the deaths of his wife Shanann Watts and their two daughters Bella and Celeste. Watts had initially pleaded publicly that his wife and daughters had gone missing. Their bodies were discovered on the property of the oil and natural gas company Watts worked for. The D.A. said that it's "too early" to discuss whether prosecutors would seek the death penalty.

    (Published 2 hours ago)

    Housing starts in December fell in the Northeast, Midwest, South and West.

    Building permits, an indicator of future construction, slipped 0.1 percent in December to 1.3 million.