New home starts plunge 30% in US

US residential construction starts fell to the lowest level in five years last month owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday, 19 May that the number of groundbreakings dropped 30.2% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 891,000, reports the Associated Press (AP).

Housing starts have not been that low since February 2015, AP said.

One real estate analyst called it the largest monthly decline on record.

Some regions fared worse than others.

The Northeast and the West saw drops of 43.6% and 43.4%, respectively.

In the South, starts dropped 26%, while the Midwest saw a decline of 14.9%.

"The monumental decline in home construction activity in April was widely expected, but the decline is breathtaking nevertheless," said Matthew Speakman, economist for the real estate firm Zillow, who called the month-on-month decline "easily the largest on record".

Home completions also fell 8.1% in April.

Building permits for new housing dropped 20.8%, said AP.

Image: Residential construction in Modesto, California (Scott Blake/Unsplash)

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  1. Perhaps, since there is an Affordable Housing Crisis, in the U.S. and maybe in the U.K. we could consider a new model to consider: Namely the Steel SIP construction system for residential housing–but delivered through a nonprofit–which makes it affordable. This system, used thusly, accomplishes two goals: 1. Low income persons who are currently paying too much of their total income on housing and 2. Global warming. Since 40% of greenhouse co2 gases are generated by residential housing, the construction system using Steel Structural Insulated Panels topped-off with solar panels sufficient to take care of the houses’ needs could make a real contribution since, on average, 7.5 tons of co2 are created per year by each house. We’ve found a way to build these houses for under $100 per sq. ft. complete–ready to inhabit. We’d be glad to share this information to any builder interested in helping their BROTHER who needs help and our MOTHER earth who also needs relief from the stress of so much pollution in her air.

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