WASHINGTON (AP) - Builders ended 2011 with a third straight year of dismal home building and the worst on record for single-family home construction.
The Commerce Department says builders started just 606,900 homes in 2011. That's up slightly from 587,000 in 2010 and 554,000 in 2009 - the worst year on records dating back 50 years. In a healthy market, economists say, about 1.2 million homes are started each year.
In December, builders broke ground on a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 657,000 homes, down 4 percent from the previous month.