Friday, January 23, 2009
Home Construction at Record Slow Pace
New-home construction fell sharply in December, the Commerce Department said Thursday, and a drop-off in permits for future projects suggests the declines will continue. Meanwhile, home-builder confidence is at a record low and the government's gauge of home prices, also released Thursday, shows accelerating declines. Construction of new single- and multifamily homes sank 15.5% in December from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 550,000 units -- the slowest pace since monthly records began in 1959. The rate was down nearly half from the pace seen in December 2007 as the slowdown continues to weigh heavily on U.S. economic growth.