September homebuilding figures from the U.S. Commerce Department this week were weaker than expected, sending stocks lower and sparking fears that a recovery in residential construction may be faltering.
New home construction, "remained virtually unchanged in September," commented the National Association of Homebuilders, "edging up half a percent to a seasonably adjusted annual rate of 590,000 units." This was 28.2% below the rate in September 2008.
New homebuilding fell back to the same rate as in June, following two months of gains that had encouraged analysts that a recovery was stirring.
Also last month, building permits, an indicator of future homebuilding activity, fell 1.2%. Last September building permits were 28.9% higher.