Housing starts fell 9.8% for December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 999,000, according to a Commerce Department report (link opens a PDF) released today. After jumping a revised 23.1% for November, this latest report's dip still came in above analyst expectations of 985,000. 

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Source: Census.gov 

Housing permits fell 3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 986,000, while housing completions finished off the month down 10.8% at a 744,000 rate. Although housing starts clocked in above estimates, permits didn't quite reach analysts' expectations of a 1.015 million, potentially hinting at a tighter housing market in the months to come.

For 2013 overall, housing starts shot up 18.3% above 2012's rate, permits increased by 17.5%,  and completions added on 17.4%. 

Today's news comes a day after a January report revealed that homebuilder confidence fell slightly for the start of 2014. 

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