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