New-home construction slumped last month, falling 4.3% from November to December, the government said Wednesday.
The month-over-month decline was worse than expected by economists, and construction starts fell 8.2% compared with December 2009 to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 529,000 units, the Commerce Department reported. A 9% drop in single-family home construction drove the decline from November to December.
The news comes one day after the National Assn. of Homebuilders reported that builder sentiment, according to its index, was unchanged at the low level of 16 in January. A reading below 50 shows negative sentiment about home sales.
And in California, new-home sales posted a record-low year in 2010, according to San Diego research firm MDA DataQuick, whose data go back to 1988.