(CN) — Construction of new homes fell for a second straight month in April — resulting in the lowest rate of home building in five months.
The Commerce Department said Tuesday that housing starts fell 2.6 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 million units.
That followed a 6.6 percent decline in March and left home building at its lowest point since last November. The weakness was led by a big drop in construction of apartments, typically a volatile sector.
But despite the dismal report, industry analysts expect a rebound in the coming months driven by the nation’s strong employment numbers and low unemployment.
In April, construction of single-family homes edged up a slight 0.4 percent to an annual rate of 835,000 units. Construction of multi-family units dropped a sharp 9.2 percent to a rate of 337,000 units.
The weakness was led by a 37.3 percent plunge in activity in the Northeast and a 9.1 percent drop in the South. Those gains offset a 41.1 percent rise in the Midwest and a 5.4 percent increase in the West.