New-home construction in the United States fell to an all-time low in December, according to a U.S. Commerce Department report. Construction of new homes and apartments fell 15.5% to an annual rate of 550,000 units last month. For all of last year, the number of housing units that builders broke ground on totaled just more than 904,000, also a record low. The report also showed that applications for building permits — considered a reliable sign of future activity — sank to a rate of 549,000 in December, a 10.7% drop from the previous month.
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