Home Starts Drop, Multifamily Starts Slow to a Crawl

Bloomberg reported Wednesday that housing starts fell to a 519,000 annual rate, the fewest since a record low reached in April, 2009 and down 12 percent from a revised 588,000 in September that was less than previously estimated according to Commerce Department figures. Work on multifamily units, which is often volatile, plunged 44 percent, far exceeding the 1.1 percent drop in single-family homes. Economists forecast housing starts would decrease to a 598,000 pace from a previously estimated 610,000, according to the median of 75 projections in a Bloomberg News survey. Bloomberg says building permits, a sign of future activity, rose 0.5 percent to a 550,000 rate, less than forecast, from 547,000 in September.

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