Fewer new homes being built - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Fewer new homes being built

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (KWWL) -

Builders broke ground on fewer homes in August, a reminder that the housing market remains depressed.

The US Commerce Department says builders began work on some 571,000 homes last month, a 5 percent decline from July.  That's less than half the 1.2 million home builds that economists say is consistent with healthy housing markets.

Single-family homes, roughly two-thirds of home construction, fell 1.4 percent. Apartment building plunged 12.4 percent. Building permits, a gauge of future construction, rose 3.2 percent.

Hurricane Irene also slowed construction in the Northeast.

While home construction represents a small portion of the housing market, it has a significant impact on the economy.  Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and about $90,000 in taxes, according to the National Association of Home Builders

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