Homebuilders pulled back on construction for a second straight month in September, with a plunge in apartments offsetting gains in single-family homes. Building activity was weak in all parts of the country except the Midwest.
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The Commerce Department says construction tumbled 9 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.05 million units. It was the slowest pace in 18 months. Construction had fallen 5.6 percent in August.
The weakness last month reflected a 38 percent drop in construction of apartments, which overshadowed an 8.1 percent rise in single-family construction.
Despite the two months of declines, home construction has been one of the bright spots in the economy this year with builders scrambling to keep up with rising demand, reflecting continued strong job gains.