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Weather Wreaked Havoc on February Starts, Completions

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

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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