Building permits for single-family homes dropped 29% in Orange County during January to 480 houses from 670 for January, 1988, the Construction Industry Research Board reported.
Throughout the state, permits for houses rose 14% from a year ago.
Permits for apartments and condominiums didn't fall as far, percentage-wise, because multifamily construction already had dropped due to changes in federal laws that eliminated tax benefits for building apartments. Last year, construction of multifamily units in the county was off nearly 23%.
Permits for all types of residential units in the county fell 21% in January from a year ago.