10:53am

Tue May 17, 2011
The Two-Way

Housing Starts Plunge In April

There's no sugar-coating it: the Commerce Department says during April, builders got started on fewer homes in the U.S. Housing starts, as they're called, were down 10.6% from March's report, and they're 23.9% lower than what they were a year ago at the same time.

The Wall Street Journal headline captures the gloomy report best: Housing Data Still Awful. There's a teeny spot of good news - the data on housing starts in March was revised upward but it doesn't do enough good. CNN notes the housing industry is hamstrung by unsold homes already sitting on the market and the high natinal unemployment rate.

Reuters asks around, and finds economists expect the housing market will stay weak, possibly into next year. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.