The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s new residential construction report for December shows a 16.7 percent increase in building permits for privately-owned housing units. The rise, in part due to changes to building codes in California, New York, and Pennsylvania, included a 5.5 percent jump in single-family authorizations. Housing starts, however, were down in December, falling 4.3 percent from November’s estimate. More here and here.