New construction of homes across the United States slowed in January, but the building industry continuing to show modest strength, Commerce Department figures showed Wednesday.
Private housing starts fell 2.0 percent from strong December numbers, but were still at a solid annual pace of 1,065,000 units.
December's sharp growth, helped by mild weather across much of the country, came largely from single family units, and that category fell back in January.
The January 2015 pace was 18.7 percent above that of January 2014, when extremely harsh winter weather shut down economic activity in large swathes of the country for weeks.
Building permits, an indicator of future construction, grew 0.7 percent from December to an annual pace of 1,053,000.
Jim O'Sullivan, chief US economist at High Frequency Economics, said the trend remains upward, but only at a gradual pace.
"The level is still low," he said. "A 1.3-1.4 million unit pace is probably sustainable over time given demographic trends."