Last month, applications for future projects soared in a sign the industry is ramping up after a debilitating bust.

The Commerce Department stated that construction of new homes and apartments fell 4% in December to a seasonally adjusted yearly rate of 557,000 from an upwardly revised 580,000 in November.

Forecasted by economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters, the results were lower than the 580,000. In the Northeast and Midwest, the results were led by declines of 19%.

Though construction declined 1% in the West, it increased more than 3 percent in the South.

As a gauge of future activity, applications for new building permits rose 11% to a yearly rate of 653,000, a far stronger showing than economists had forecast and the highest level of activity since October 2008.

Especially in the Northeast, December's cold weather was seen as the main reason for the divergent results.

Amid the worst housing bust in decades, the industry has dramatically scaled back construction.

In November, Congress made the decision to extend the deadline for a tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time homebuyers until April and expanded it to include $6,500 for existing homeowners who move, to give a boost to the housing market.

Posted by Tamborrel Bulox Team on
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