Government reports that permits and starts for single-family housing increased in January

Construction of homes increased in January.
Construction of homes increased in January.
A recent report from the government has some bright spots for those who use construction equipment to build houses.

Building permits for privately owned housing units in January came in at an adjusted annual rate of 621,000. Though this is 4.9 percent below the number reported in December, it is 16.9 percent higher than was reported in January of 2009.

Though overall building permits were down, single-family home authorizations increased 0.4 percent to reach an annual rate of 507,000. Furthermore, housing starts for single-family models in January increased 1.5 percent during January.

"Americans continue to recognize that this is a good time to buy a home," Commerce Undersecretary Rebecca Blank said.

The report on permits and starts in January comes at a time when builders are feeling a bit more confident in the sale of single-family homes. According to the National Association of Home Builders, builder confidence in that market increased to 17 on its index in February after coming in at 15 the month before.