National

Jun 16, 2010 8:57 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Home construction sinks, building permits down

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.

The stock market is not pleased with the news.

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