Housing construction fell to the second-lowest level on record last month, the Commerce Department reported today. Construction of new homes and apartments plunged 10.8 percent in March, to an annual rate of 510,000 units. Applications for building permits also dropped 9 percent in March, to an annual rate of 513,000 units. Both drops were worse than economists had projected. Construction of multi-family units declined 29 percent after rising in February.
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