U.S. Housing Starts Fall 10.8% in March
16 Apr 09 | FT
New US residential building slowed sharply in March after a surprise surge the month before, dimming hopes that the real estate slump may be nearing a bottom.
Housing starts fell for the eight time in nine months, dropping by 10.8 per cent to an adjusted annual rate of construction of 510,000, commerce department figures showed on Thursday. The decline was worse than analysts expected and was due to a big drop in construction of multi-family homes. Single-family starts were unchanged in the month.
“Instead of springing forward in March, builders fell back,” said Richard Moody, chief economist at Forward Capital.
On the year housing starts are down by 48.4 per cent, as builders became wary of breaking new ground amid plunging real estate prices. Last month’s decline followed a jump in new construction in February, when housing starts rose by a revised 17.2 per cent. Construction remained above January’s low of 488,000, the worst month since 1959. >>>