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Statement from Commerce Under Secretary Rebecca Blank on New Residential Construction in October 2009

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

202-482-4883

Statement from Commerce Under Secretary Rebecca Blank on New Residential Construction in October 2009

The Commerce Department’s U.S. Bureau of the Census today released data on new residential construction in October 2009. Permits declined 4.0 percent in October but have risen 10.8 percent since their low in April. Starts fell 10.6 percent in October but have grown 10.4 percent above their low in April.

“The weak performance in October is disappointing. But monthly data are volatile, and housing activity has risen substantially since last spring. Mortgage rates remain low, fewer commercial banks are tightening credit, and the extension and expansion of the tax incentive for first-time homebuyers should encourage progress toward a healthier level of activity in the coming months.”