Housing starts in December 2018 fell 11.2 percent over the previous month to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate 1.08 million, per Commerce Department data.
Annually, starts fell 10.2 percent. Meanwhile permits to build single-family homes dropped 2.2 percent from November 2018 to December 2018, and dropped 5.5 percent year-over-year. CNBC reports that now that rates have ticked down and held at lower levels than at the end of 2018, more buyers may be able to financially access the market in 2019. To be sure, home prices are still rising faster than wages.
December's decline occurred for single-family houses and apartment buildings. Builders have pulled back as higher prices have caused home sales to slump, suggesting that affordability challenges have caused the pool of would-be buyers and renters to dwindle.