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by CareyBot

The pace of housing construction activity fell to a record low in December, the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development reported today. Building-permit activity dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 549,000 in December, down about 50.6 percent compared to the same month last year. And the rate of housing starts dropped 45 percent year-over-year in December to 550,000. This rate is a projection of a monthly total over a 12-month period, adjusted to account for typical seasonal fluctuations in construction activity. The pace of residential building-permit activity was down 75.7 percent in December 2008 from its peak of 2.26 million in September 2005 -- and single-family permit activity was down 79.8 percent. For housing starts, the seasonally adj...