Home building takes a hard fall in Charlotte

Charlotte-area home construction fell dramatically during the first quarter, plunging even more deeply than home building nationwide.

The number of permits issued to build homes, townhouses and condos in the 8-county area fell 65 percent compared with the first three months of 2008.

The 1,193 permits issued marks a drop of 82 percent from the 2006 peak, according to Newton Graham Consultants, which uses numbers compiled from public records by a Rocky Mount firm.

In Mecklenburg County, the area's largest market, single-family permits fell 62 percent in the first quarter, according to county figures. March results alone were down 50 percent, better than the declines of the previous two months.

Nationwide, permits were down 44 percent in the first quarter for single-unit housing, the most nearly comparable data. For March alone, all building permits nationwide were down 45 percent from March 2008, according to federal data released this morning.

Actual construction fell nearly 11 percent nationwide in March, to the second lowest level in 50 years.

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