US Housing Starts Drop to Near Record-Low in October

The US housing market continued to struggle in the wake of the global financial crisis as construction of new homes in the country slowed down significantly in October, the United States Commerce Department said.

A new data released by the United States government on Wednesday showed a significant drop in the number of new houses being constructed in October as recovery in the real-estate sector remained to be unseen.

In a report, the Commerce Department said that applications for new building permits remained to be flat, resulting to a 12 percent drop in the construction of new homes in October – the weakest since April 2009.

Also, the department said that the annual rate of construction was now at 519, 000 units – since the survey started in 1959, the lowest number of new homes constructed in the US was pegged at 477, 000.

The figures also failed to meet analysts’ expectation of 600, 000 units, following a relatively strong output in the previous month. But revised housing figures in September showed that some 588, 000 new homes were constructed, sharply down from earlier estimates of 610, 000 units.

Based on records, construction of new single-family homes dropped by 1.1 percent while buildings of five units or more, plummeted 43.5 percent in October.

On the other hand, analysts also erased hopes of early recovery in the housing sector citing the comatose status in the application for building permits.

Since its collapse in 2006, the US housing market was still struggling to recover, dropping the value of most homes. High foreclosures and unemployment rate also continued to pose burden in the sector.


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