Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

Starts, permits fall 70% from peak

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Single-family housing starts and building-permit authorizations hit the lowest level since 1982 in September, with total starts and permits dipping to levels not seen since 1991, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Census Bureau announced today. Single-family housing starts hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 544,000 in September. This rate -- a projection of a monthly total over a 12-month period, accounting for seasonal fluctuations in construction activity -- was the lowest since August 1982, when it dipped to 523,000. The single-family starts rate is down about 41.9 percent year-over-year in September, down 12 percent compared to August 2008, and has fallen 70.2 percent from its all-time peak of 1.82 million in January 2006. The rate of total housing starts, at 817,000 in September, was the lowest since 798,000 in January 1991 and was down about 31.1 percent compared to September 2007, 6.3 percent compared to August 2008, and has fallen 64...