WASHINGTON (AP) -- Government data show construction of new homes plunged by a bigger-than-expected amount in September as builders slashed production to the slowest place since early 1991.
The Commerce Department reported Friday that construction of new homes and apartments dropped by 6.3 percent last month, a much bigger decline than the 1.6 percent decrease that had been expected.
It pushed total production to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 817,000 units.
That's the slowest pace since January 1991, a period when the country was in a recession and going through a similar painful housing correction.
The declines last month reflected weakness in all parts of the country.
It was led by a 7.7 percent drop in the Northeast, where construction of single-family units dropped to the lowest level on record.