Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Housing starts plunged in February

Starts drop off sharply from January numbers

Construction of new houses and apartments dropped 22.5 percent in February to 479,000annualized units, the Commerce Department reported today. The decline from January was the biggest one-month drop in starts since March 1984.

Starts are at their lowest level since the record low of 477,000 recorded in April 2009.

The report comes after starts increased 18.4% in January, primarily due to multi-family starts. Starts of new single-family homes fell by 11.8% to 375,000 in February, while starts of large apartment units fell 46.1% to 104,000. Building permits fell 8.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 517,000. This is the lowest level of permits on record.

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