WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced that privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,210,000. This is 0.2 percent (estimated) below the revised November rate of 1,212,000, but is 0.7 percent above the December 2015 estimate of 1,201,000.

Single-family authorizations in December were at a rate of 817,000. This is 4.7 percent (estimated) above the revised November figure of 780,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 355,000 in December. An estimated 1,186,900 housing units were authorized by building permits in 2016.

Privately-owned housing starts in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,226,000. This is 11.3 percent (estimated) above the revised November rate of 1,102,000 and is 5.7 percent (estimated). The Census Bureau does not have sufficient statistical evidence to conclude that the actual change is different from the December 2015 rate of 1,160,000.

Single-family housing starts in December were at a rate of 795,000; this is 4.0 percent (estimated) below the revised November figure of 828,000. The December rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 417,000. An estimated 1,166,400 housing units were started in 2016. This is 4.9 percent above the 2015 figure of 1,111,800.

Privately-owned housing completions in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,123,000. This is estimated to be 7.9 percent below the revised November rate of 1,219,000, but is 8.7 percent above the December 2015 rate of 1,033,000.

Single-family housing completions in December were at a rate of 761,000; this is 0.9 percent below the revised November rate of 768,000. The December rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 355,000.

An estimated 1,062,300 housing units were completed in 2016. This is 9.7 percent above the 2015 figure of 968,200. See http://www.census.gov/starts.

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