Residential construction falls in April

Data released by the Commerce Department this morning showed housing starts at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 523,000 -- down 10.6% compared with the upwardly revised March figure of 574,000.

Single-family starts were at a rate of 394,000, down 5.1% from the revised March figure of 415,000.

Compared with the same month last year, total housing starts fell 23.9%, while single-family starts plunged 30%.

Building permits also showed declines in the Tuesday morning report on residential construction. Permits were at a rate of 551,000 in April, down 4.0% from March and down 12.8% from April 2010.