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Another steep decline in housing starts

Housing starts continue to sink, according to the U.S. Commerce Department, which reported that last month’s total starts fell to an adjusted annual rate of 817,000 units. Compared to August 2008, where the estimated number of total starts has been revised downward to 872,000 units, the decline was 6.3 percent.

Single-family starts in September 2008 fared worst, with 544,000 annual units, a 12 percent drop from August’s rate of 618,000. This is the slowest pace of new home construction since 1982, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Multi-family starts rose 5.8 percent to 254,000 units compared to the previous month, which posted a big decline.

Regionally, the Midwest and South posted gains of 5.6 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively. In the Northeast and West, total housing starts declined by 21 percent and 16.8 percent, respectively.

In year-over-year figures, total housing starts dropped 38.4 percent from September 2007. All four regions of the country showed annual declines exceeding 30 percent, with the West leading at 44.6 percent.


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