Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

Housing starts fall to record lows

Real estate brief
Published on Feb 19, 2009

U.S. housing starts in January fell 16.8 percent from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 466,000 units, a record low, according to U.S. Commerce Department figures reported Wednesday. Compared to a year ago, new-home production declined 56.2 percent, the report found. "Builders are continuing to exercise extreme caution in response to market conditions, particularly weak consumer demand and the large inventory of homes for sale that is being fueled by a constant flow of foreclosures," said National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Chairman Joe Robson in a press statement. "We are certainly optimistic that the newly signed economic stimulus package -- and particularly the enhanced first-time homebuyer tax credit -- will help spark more consumer demand for homes going forward. However, until that happens, builders have little choice but to put a hold on new construction." Building permits for new construction dropped 4.8 percent from Dece...

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