U.S. homebuilders began work at a slower pace in January than in December. But all of the drop occurred in the volatile area of apartment construction, which sank 24 percent. By contrast, the rate of single-family homebuilding rose 0.8 percent.
Even with the overall decline, the pace of home construction in January was the third-highest since 2008 and was evidence of continued strengthening in residential real estate.
Locally 2013 looks even brighter for construction of single family homes, following an increase in construction in 2012, according to Carmine Torio of the Homebuilders Association of Portage and Summit Counties. Torio tells AkronNewsNow " I'm actually looking for things to be up this year,unforeseeing any catastrophe, by at least 30 %, on top of the 20% last year."
Torio recalls what one local homebuilder recently told him. " One guy said he might double what he did last year, and this fellow built 18 homes last year, so he might do 35, 36, 40 homes this year."
Torio says lower interests rates a brightening employment outlook, and consumer confidence are the main reasons more people are building new homes in Summit and Portage counties this year.
Carmine Torio says the Akron area is doing better than the national average when it comes to unemployment and that has boosted potential homeowners confidence in the future.
And in an encouraging sign for the rest of the year, applications for building permits, a signal of future construction, topped December's rate. Applications for permits are at their highest point since mid-2008, both locally and nationally.