New home construction declined in the month of December compared to the previous month, according to a report on Wednesday from the Commerce Department.
The department said that home construction dropped last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 529,000 homes.
Over the entire year, an estimated 554,000 starts were initiated, the second-lowest number since 1959.
December's monthly numbers were the lowest since October 2009.
“Today’s data shows that the housing market is still very volatile from month to month,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said in an accompanying statement.
On the upside, Locke noted that building permits in December rose 16.7 percent to 635,000, the best levels since March 2010.
“This administration is keenly focused on expanding employment and economic growth, and as job creation progresses, the incomes of the American people will strengthen and help put the housing market back on track," he added.