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Home construction slumps in December

January 19, 2011 |  6:45 am

New home construction slumped last month, falling 4.3% from November to December, the government said Wednesday.

La-fi-new-home-construction The month-over-month decline was worse than expected by economists, and construction starts fell 8.2% compared with December 2009 to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 529,000 units, the Commerce Department reported.

A 9% drop in single-family home construction drove the decline from November to December.

“Last month didn’t look so hot, but the future looks a lot better,” said Michael D. Larson, a housing and interest-rate analyst with Weiss Research.

The number of building permits issued in December, another gauge of home-builder sentiment, increased 16.7% over November but was down 6.8% from December 2009. Permits were issued at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 635,000.

-- Alejandro Lazo