I mentioned the weak housing starts yesterday (New Construction Falls 54%: Less is More), but here is a great chart from RM that puts it into perspective:
Building permits in April 2009 decreased 3.3% from March and declined 50.2% from April 2008, to 494,000. Housing starts in March 2009 decreased 12.8% from the prior month and declined 54.2% from the prior year, to 458,000.
NEW RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION IN APRIL 2009
MAY 19, 2009 AT 8:30 A.M. EDT