A temporary reduction in interest rates and the warmest January on record in the U.S. helped bring about a 14.5-percent upswing in new home construction for the month in U.S. Commerce Department reports. January new-home construction rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.276 million units, the highest on record since 1973. The pace was 4.0 percent above a year ago. Single-family housing starts rose 12.8 percent to a new record pace of 1.819 million units for the month. This was 2.8 percent above a year ago.
"Builders apparently took advantage of the good weather and low interest rates in January to pick up the pace of production after a cold and wet December," said David Pressly, president of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a homebuilder from Statesville, North Carolina, U.S.
"The January surge in housing starts was mainly weather-related," said NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders. "Market fundamentals suggest that this pace of activity will be hard to sustain, and NAHB's survey of single-family builders points toward some cooling down in coming months, largely because of eroding affordability conditions."
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