US housing starts drop to five-year low in April underlining fears coronavirus crisis could lead to deep economic contraction.

  • The Commerce Department said housing starts tumbled 30.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 891,000 units last month, the lowest level since early 2015.
  • Economists had forecast housing starts would fall to a pace of 927,000 units in April.
  • Permits for future home construction plunged 20.8% to a rate of 1.074 million units in April.
  • Single-family homebuilding, which accounts for the largest share of the housing market, dropped 25.4% to a rate of 650,000 units in April.
  • Single-family building permits declined 24.3% to a rate of 669,000 units in April.
  • Multi-family housing segment, starts dived 40.5% to a rate of 241,000 units last month.
  • Permits for multi-family units fell 14.2% to a rate of 405,100 units.