US housing starts fall 4.5% in January

US housing starts fell 4.5% in January, according to data released Thursday by the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Housing starts, which measures the change in the number of new residential buildings beginning construction, stood at 1.309 million as the Federal Reserve's aggressive rate hikes increased borrowing costs and continues to lower demand in the housing sector.

The figure is slightly off the revised December estimate of 1.371 million, while it is down 21.4% from the January 2022 figure of 1.666 million annually.

Building permits, a key indicator of demand in the market, however, rose 0.1% to 1.339 million in January.

The December figure for building permits was revised to 1.337 million.

Annually, building permits saw a massive 27.3% decline from 1.841 million in January 2022.

While the Fed is expected to continue rate hikes in the first quarter of 2023, the possibility of a US recession this year keeps overall demand low in the housing industry.

Source: Anadolu Agency