US Housing Starts at Lowest Levels in Years

  • 16 years ago
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The United States Commerce Department has released its latest housing report and the news isn’t good for the beleaguered housing and construction industry. For the month of September, 2008, new home construction starts fell to a seasonally adjusted rate of 817,000 houses. That’s a 6.3 percent decline from August and is more than 31 percent below September of 2007. It is also the lowest monthly rate for home starts since January, 1991.
On top of the lower housing starts, requests for permits to construct new homes fell to a seasonally adjusted rate of 786,000, which is an 8.3 percent decline from August and a 38 percent drop from September, 2007. Single family home permits saw a smaller drop of 3.8 percent to September’s rate of 532,000.
Single family housing starts in September were at a rate of 544,000, which is a 12 percent drop from August, when they were 618,000. Newly finished home construction was the one bright spot in the numbers, coming in at 1,097,000 which is 11.7 percent above August, although still a drop of 20.4 percent from 2007.
Regionally, the Northeast saw the largest percentage drop in housing starts for September. The region’s rate dropped 20.9% for the month, which is a 23.4% drop from a year ago. The West saw the largest drop in absolute numbers of housing starts for the month, with 33,000 less homes started. The overall rate fell 16.8 percent from August and 40.4 percent from a year earlier. Both the South and Midwest saw modest increases in housing starts for the month from August, but still saw drops from a year ago.
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