US home construction collapsed 22.3% in March

April 16, 2020 - 8:50 am

The Associated Press (AP) — U.S. home-building activity collapsed in March as the coronavirus spread, with housing starts tumbling 22.3% from a month ago.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that ground breakings occurred last month at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.2 million units, down from a 1.56 million pace in February. Construction of single-family houses fell 17.5%, while apartment and condo starts were off 32.1% from a month ago.

All of this paints a bleak outlook for housing as the lockdown to contain COVID-19 have led more than 20 million Americans to lose their jobs in the past four weeks.

The report showed a 6.1% decline in the completion of homes being constructed, which means many homes are being left half built. There was also a 6.8% drop in permits to begin construction.

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