Nationwide housing construction down

**FILE**Construction workers frame a new house in Gilbert, Ariz. in this Aug. 31, 2007 file photo. On Monday, investors will hear from the National Association of Homebuilders on their November forecast for the housing market. Economists surveyed by Thomson/IFR anticipate the index will hold at 18, having fallen to that level in October after eight straight months of declines. (AP Photo/Matt York, file)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A severe housing slump is showing no signs of a turnaround.

The Commerce Department is reporting that construction of new homes and apartments dropped by 3.7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.187 million units.

Construction of single-family homes fell by 5.5 percent to an annual rate of 829,000 units, the lowest level since April of 1991. Meanwhile, multi-family construction was up 4.4 percent to an annual rate of 332,000 units.

The government also reports that applications for building permits fell for a sixth straight month, dropping by 1.5 percent. That's the slowest pace for building permits since June 1993.

The housing slump has raised concerns that the economy could be pushed into a full-blown recession.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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