The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced the following new residential construction statistics for December 2008.

The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced the following new residential construction statistics for December 2008:

Building Permits

Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 549,000. This is 10.7 percent below the revised November rate of 615,000 and is 50.6 percent below the revised December 2007 estimate of 1.1 million.

Single-family authorizations in December were at a rate of 363,000. Tthis is 12.3 percent below the November figure of 414,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 170,000 in December. An estimated 892,500 housing units were authorized by building permits in 2008. This is 36.2 percent below the 2007 figure of 1.3million.

Housing Starts

Privately-owned housing starts in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 550,000, 15.5 percent below the revised November estimate of 651,000 and 45 percent below the revised December 2007 rate of 1 million housing starts.

Single-family housing starts in December were at a rate of 398,000. This is 13.5 percent below the November figure of 460,000. The December rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 145,000. An estimated 904,300 housing units were started in 2008. This is 33.3 percent below the 2007 figure of 1.3 million.

Housing Completions

Privately-owned housing completions in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.01 million, 5.2 percent below the revised November estimate of 1.07 million and is 23.6 percent below the revised December 2007 rate of 1.3 million.

Single-family housing completions in December were at a rate of 668,000. This is 13.1 percent below the November figure of 769,000. The December rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 330,000. An estimated 1.11 million housing units were completed in 2008. This is 25.7 percent below the 2007 figure of 1.50 million.