Following a surge in new housing starts to end 2019, the global COVID-19 pandemic reached the private housing construction industry in the U.S. and caused a record-low number of new projects in the country. After several straight months of growth, however, it looks as though housing construction is back to the high numbers of January and February.
In data reported from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, around 1.6 million new housing constructions were started in the country for the month of January in the new year. That’s down from the yearly high set in December, showing both a returning demand and a subsequent pullback on new housing constructions with uncertainty still looming on the national economy.
Housing construction had been in a slump throughout 2018 and had just reached a recovery period that culminated in a healthy 1.6 million new housing starts in January to begin the year.
Analysts still expect a long-term contraction in the housing market but are optimistic that construction and sales can continue to resume as lockdowns for COVID-19 are lifted. Still, with massive unemployment and many businesses showing no signs of quick recoveries, the housing industry – like many other industries – could be down for some time before a proper recovery is realized.
This chart shows the number of new privately-owned housing units started in the U.S. between Jan. 2020 and Jan. 2021 (in thousands).
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