US housing starts dive in April
The Commerce Department has today revealed US housing starts slumped in April – much worse than forecast.
Housing starts dived 10.6% in the month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 523,000 units, analysts had expected an annual rate of 563,000.
In the meantime, applications for building permits, a barometer of future home construction, also fell, by 4%, to annual rate of 551,000 units.
Demand for houses in the US continues to be weak with potential buyers struggling to obtain mortgages.
Furthermore, the housing market is weak due to a glut of unsold and repossessed properties.
Today’s data further highlights the fragility of the housing market with many suggesting it is holding back the recovery of the world’s largest economy.
Meanwhile, the news sent oil prices sliding with Brent crude down $2.10 to $108.75 after rising above $111 earlier today.