PORTLAND – A new report said housing starts are at their lowest level in southern Maine since 1991, when the nation was also locked in a recession.
In the 38 communities tracked by Construction Data New England, builders took out 841 permits between January and Nov. 15. The Portland Press Herald said that’s roughly a third as many as were filed for the same period in 2000, the peak year for homebuilding in an area from Lewiston to Kittery.
The sharp drop in housing starts was blamed on the national recession, tight credit and the abundance of foreclosed and unsold homes already on the market. It has resulted in job loses for builders, home-goods retailers and manufacturers who make those products.