Housing starts surged by double digits in January, or an 18.6% increase annually, or to 1.230 million units, according to the US Department of Commerce.

Also building permits rose by 1.4% in January, which translated into 1.345 million units.

Typically, January is not a builder’s boom month due to the weather conditions, but this past January it turned out to be a double-digit winner for the construction industry.

January reversed a downward four-month trend for housing starts.

According to a Reuters report, economists had underestimated the robust demand reported by the Commerce Department. The Reuters report stated that housing starts were forecast to climb by only 1.197 million units, not the 1.230 million units reported.

The turnaround does not necessarily represent an economic surge, but rather the adjustment of the construction industry in handling the higher lumber costs and material costs, along with significant shortages in skilled labor.

The big number in this report came in the category of single family homes, which reported an unprecedented 25.1% increase in January over 2018. That double-digit increase translated into 926,000 units for January, which is the highest number of units since May 2018.

Multi-family housing starts increased by 2.4%, which translates into 304,000 units in January 2019. Permits for construction on multi-family homes also posted an increase of 7.2%, which translates into 533,000 units.

If you have any questions about this information or title insurance, please contact Ralph Aponte: 732.914.1400.

Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.net, founded in 1996, is one of New Jersey’s most respected title agencies, serving all 21 New Jersey counties with title insurance, clearing title, escrow, tidelands searches, and closing and settlement services for commercial or industrial properties, waterfront properties and marinas, condominiums, townhouses or residential single family homes. Counsellors Title also features its own Attorney Settlement Assistance Program™ [ASAP], which is an individual resource customized to fit the needs specifically of real estate attorneys, including, Documentation, Preparation, Disbursement of Funds, Attendance at Closing, HUD Preparation or Post-Closing Matters.

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