Washington, DC, Jan. 17, 2014 -- New home construction starts fell 9.8% in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 999,000, ahead of economists' expectations.
There were for both single-family homes and apartments, the Commerce Department reported Friday.
Economists forecast that overall housing starts in December would fall to a rate of 985,000 from a revised November start rate of 1.11 million.
Home-construction starts for all of 2013 hit 923,400, the highest annual total since 2007
Also, the government said that building permits fell 3% in December to an annual rate of 986,000.
For all of 2013, permits hit 974,700, also reaching the highest annual level since 2007.