The Department of Commerce announced this morning that new residential construction declined in April in terms of building permits, housing starts and housing completions.

Here are the stats:
* 494,000 building permits issued, down 3.3 percent from March, down 50.2 percent from a year earlier
* 458,000 new construction projects were started, down 12.8 percent from March, down 54.2 percent from a year earlier
* 874,000 new construction projects were completed, up 4.9 percent from March, down 15 percent from a year earlier

I think these numbers are fair for the state of the economy at the moment and aren’t that surprising. When demand for new construction falls and builders don’t have money to support projects until they sell this seems natural to me. And when you can get a great deal on a foreclosure for less than new construction, and you like do-it-yourself or renovation jobs, why not go that route?

May 19, 2009