WASHINGTON (AP) - Home construction plunged last month to the
lowest level since December as builders scaled back without a
federal tax credit to lure buyers. Building permits also fell, a
sign the construction industry won't fuel the economic recovery.
The Commerce Department says construction of new homes and
apartments fell 10 percent from a month earlier to a seasonally
adjusted annual rate of 593,000. April's figure was revised
downward to 659,000.
The results were driven by a 17 percent decline in the
single-family market, which had benefited earlier in the year from
federal tax credits of up to $8,000.
Applications for new building permits, a sign of future
activity, also fell. They sank 5.9 percent to an annual rate of
574,000, the lowest level in a year.