Cold winter weather appears to have cut into residential construction in the US Midwest and Northeast, causing the pace of construction to tumble in January.

The Commerce Department said that housing starts slipped 3.8 per cent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.1 million homes. A sharp 12.8 per cent decline in construction in the Midwest and a 3.7 dip in the Northeast propelled the broader decrease, with construction also falling in…