Housing Starts Plummet
Housing starts plunged 12.8% from the revised estimate in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 458,000 after dropping 10.8% the previous month, according to data released today by the US Commerce Department. These starts, annualized based on the monthly rate, sit 54.2% below the revised April 08 rate of 1.001m. Single-family housing starts, which exclude apartment construction, were at 368,000 units annually in April, 2.8% above the previous month's figure. The gain indicates a slight rebound in single-family housing supply after several months of stagnation and despite a continued slump in total residential construction. Building permits inched down 3.3% from March to a seasonally-adjusted rate of 494,000 units in April. The monthly rate sits 50.2% below the revised April '08 level of 991,000 permits. Permits for single-family homes alone rose 3.6% from March to an annualized 373,000. Write to Diana Golobay.