After a rip-roaring January last year, housing construction in the Twin Cities metro this month is off to a slow start. Throughout the Twin Cities metro builders were issued 308 permits to build 529 units during four comparable weeks in the month of January 2015, according to a monthly report from the Builders Association of the Twin Cities. That was a 13-percent decline in permits, but a 50-percent decrease in number of units, mainly because there were fewer apartment buildings on the drawing board. (A single permit can be issue to build more than one unit). During January 2014 more than 1,000 units - mostly apartments - were permitted.

While apartment construction is expected to slow slightly compared with last year, most forecasts call for a modest increase in new home sales during 2015. So far that's not been the case. Permits to build single-family houses were down 16 percent this month.

"After a tough 2014 for single-family construction, we had hoped to see a much stronger start to this year," said Chris Contreras, 2015 president of the Builders Association of the Twin Cities. "We are still hopeful that we'll see the numbers pick up."

Apple Valley issued the most permitted units (111) followed by Rosemount (97), Plymouth and Lakeville, which were tied for third with 32 units each.