New housing starts took a dive in February, hit by the same cold and snow that stifled communities and economies in large portions of the country.
Groundbreaking for new homes dropped 17%, for an average of 897,000 units. That works out to a drop of 3.3% from last year, and the lowest level of new starts since January of 2004.
Areas of the northeast took the biggest hit. Single-family homes, which make up two-thirds of the market, fell a record 56.5%. For the nation, starts were down 14.9% in February.
The Fed begins two-days of meetings Tuesday, and there were rumblings of a coming rise to the interest rate. But these latest numbers may push back that plan.
More about the slow housing starts report from the Commerce Department on IndustryWeek.