WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government says the construction of new homes plummeted in November by the largest amount in a quarter-century as builders slashed production in the face of a recessionary economy.
The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that new home starts fell by 18.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 625,000.
That is down from a revised level of 771,000 in October.
It is also far below the 740,000 pace that Wall Street economists expected and is the lowest level since records began in 1959.
It says applications for building permits, considered a good sign of future activity, fell by 15.6 percent to 616,000, from an upwardly revised figure of 730,000 in October.