WASHINGTON — Total housing starts remained virtually unchanged in January, although single-family builders continued to pull in the reins on new-home production, according to newly-released data from the U.S. Commerce Dept. 

Starts rose by 0.8%, with single-family production down 5.2% to a rate of 743,000 units and multi-family production up 22.3% to a 269,000-unit rate. Regionally, the South declined 2.9%, the West declined 6.2%, while the Midwest posted an increase of 12% and the Northeast gained 18.9%.

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