January home construction falls 6%; signs of rebound ahead

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home construction fell 6% in January but applications for building permits rose sharply. The Commerce Department reported Thursday that the January decline pushed home and apartment construction down to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.58 million units in January, compared to 1.68 million units in December. Single-family construction starts dropped 12.2% while construction of apartment units rose 16.2%. Applications for building permits, considered a good sign of future activity, were up 10.4% in January to an annual rate of 1.88 million units.