Housing starts dip in December but end 2013 strong overall

New home construction dropped 9.8 percent in December compared to a surge of housing starts in November, but still ended 2013 with one of the strongest years since 2007, according to Commerce Department data, USA Today reports.

The month-to-month drop was actually lower than many housing experts had expected and extremely frigid weather may have played a role in lower housing starts in some areas of the country including the Midwest, analysts said.

Overall, 2013 as a whole has been seen as a stronger year for home construction. “Last year was a good year for home building, with overall production up 18 percent from 2012,” said National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist David Crowe in a news release.

In other headlines:

Builders Begin Work on More U.S. Homes Than Forecast – Bloomberg

U.S. housing starts fall less than expected, weather may be a factor – Reuters

U.S. Housing Starts Maintain Strong Pace in December – Wall Street Journal

Housing crash hit minority communities hardest, study shows – Chicago Tribune (via Reuters)

Chicago-area foreclosure filings down 28% last year – Crain’s Chicago Business

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