The pace of total housing starts in August fell to the slowest pace since January 1991 and dropped about 33.1 percent compared to August 2007, the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported today.

Single-family housing starts hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 630,000 in August, down about 34.9 percent compared to August 2007 — this was also the lowest level since January 1991. This rate is a projection of a monthly total over a 12-month period, adjusted to account for seasonal fluctuations in construction activity.

The rate of building-permit authorizations was down 36.4 percent year-over-year in August, and housing completions were down 35.8 percent year-over-year.

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