Weather Blamed for Freeze on New Housing Starts

Construction on new single-family homes and apartments dropped in January, the Commerce Department reports. This marks the second consecutive monthly drop in housing starts, as frigid winter weather puts a chill on the new-home recovery, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

“Cold weather clearly put a chill on new-home construction last month, and this is also reflected in our latest builder confidence survey,” says Kevin Kelly, NAHB chairman. “Further, builders continue to face other obstacles, including rising materials prices and a lack of buildable lots and labor.”

Existing-home inventory has been at a 13-year low, while new-home inventory sits near a 50-year low. Housing starts are far short of what they should be, based on historical trends.

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