Housing starts for 2007 ended the year down 24.8% at 1.35 million units, with single family starts down 28.8% to 105 million units, according to the most recent figures from the Census Bureau. It was the largest year-over-year drop since 1980.
Starts in December began at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of just under 1.09 million units, down 7.4% from November and down a third from December, 2006's pace. Single family starts were down 36% year-to-year and down 2.9% from November to a 794,000-unit pace.
The seasonally adjusted annualized rate for building permits in December dipped 34.4% from December, 2006, to 1.07 million permits. Single family permits fell 41.4% year-over-year to an annualized rate of just 692,000 units.
For the entire year 2007, there were just under 1.4 million permits issued, down more than one quarter from the 2006 final tally. Single family permits dipped 29.4% to 973,100 units.