Nationwide housing construction down

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A severe housing slump is showing no signs of a turnaround.

The Commerce Department is reporting that construction of new homes and apartments dropped by 3.7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.187 million units.

Construction of single-family homes fell by 5.5 percent to an annual rate of 829,000 units, the lowest level since April of 1991. Meanwhile, multi-family construction was up 4.4 percent to an annual rate of 332,000 units.

The government also reports that applications for building permits fell for a sixth straight month, dropping by 1.5 percent. That's the slowest pace for building permits since June 1993.

The housing slump has raised concerns that the economy could be pushed into a full-blown recession.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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