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Weather Wreaked Havoc on February Starts, Completions

Housing starts and completions plummeted nationwide in
February, but especially in the Northeast and Midwest where record cold and
nearly constant snowstorms took a substantial toll. Nationwide, housing starts
were down 17.0 percent from January’s slightly upwardly revised estimate of
1,081,000 units to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 897,000.  Given that February 2014 had also featured
unusually brutal weather
the recent month’s number was down only 3.3 percent
from the 928,000 starts reported a year earlier. 

Single-family construction starts in February were down 14.9
percent from the previous month’s rate of 697,000 to a seasonally adjusted
annual rate of 593,000.  In February 2014
the rate was fractionally higher at 589,000 units.  Starts in buildings with five or more units
dropped 21.6 percent from the previous month to 297,000 units on an annual
basis.

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