Housing construction plunged to the lowest level in more than six years in October as the nation’s once-booming housing market slowed further.
The Commerce Department reported on Friday that construction of new single-family homes and apartments dropped to an annual rate of 1.486 million units last month, down a sharp 14.6 percent from the September level.
The decline, bigger than had been expected, was the largest percentage decline in 19 months and pushed total activity down to the lowest level since July 2000.
The report signaled that the months ahead could be equally bleak: The number of building permits that were issued fell for the ninth straight month, reaching its lowest level since 1997. Those figures, too, are seasonally adjusted.