Building Permits Jumped in December

The Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau today released data on new residential construction in December, 2010. Permits for new homes jumped 16.7 percent in December compared with private-sector expectations of a 2.9 percent increase. The department says scheduled changes in building codes in January in California, New York and Pennsylvania may have been responsible for much of the December increase, as builders sought to obtain permits ahead of the code change. Housing starts declined 4.3 percent compared with private-sector expectations that they would remain virtually unchanged. “Today’s data show that the housing market is still very volatile from month to month,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke says. “This administration is keenly focused on expanding employment and economic growth, and as job creation progresses, the incomes of the American people will strengthen and help put the housing market back on track.”
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