In what may be disappointing news for nursery growers, homebuilders across the United States pulled back from their planned new home production levels during February, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. “Total housing starts declined 22.5 percent from January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 479,000 units, the second-slowest pace on record,” the National Assocation of Home Builders stated in a press release. “Equally disconcerting, total permit issuance for new homes fell 8.2 percent to a record low pace of 517,000 units in February.” NAHB chairman Bob Nielsen said that homebuilders are concerned about continued tight credit, higher energy costs and the possibility of rising interest rates. The federal figures indicate that the slowdown is widespread and applies to every region of the country.
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