WASHINGTON - The pace of single-family home production remained virtually unchanged in February, with a 0.6% decline to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 499,000 units, according to figures released today by the U.S. Commerce Department.

Meanwhile, a large decline on the more volatile multifamily side brought the overall number of housing starts down 5.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 575,000 units.

"Today's single-family numbers are fairly encouraging, in that the level of building activity held firm even as large portions of the country experienced abnormal weather conditions," said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, MI.

On a regional basis, combined starts activity declined 9.6% in the Northeast and 15.5% in the South, where unusually poor weather conditions were a factor in February. Meanwhile, starts activity posted gains of 14.3% in the Midwest and 7.9% in the West.

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