Construction of new homes at a 10-year low

According to, home construction hit its lowest point since January 1997 in July. The U.S. Department of Commerce reported Thursday that construction of new homes and apartments dropped 6.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.38 million units, which was a 20.9 percent decrease from a year ago.

This drop followed a 2.1 percent increase in June, proving that the housing industry continues to struggle this year. Applications for building permits fell 2.8 percent in July to an annual rate of 1.373 million units, which is their lowest level since October 1996.

The only place housing construction did not fall was in the Midwest, where there was a 2.6 percent increase in July. The South experienced an 11 percent decrease; the West experienced a 3.7 percent decrease; and the Northeast experienced a 1.3 percent decrease.

In addition, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that the number of recently laid-off workers filing for unemployment benefits increased by 6,000 last week; analysts had been expecting a decrease of about 1,000.

Date : 8/20/2007