May 18 (UPI) -- New single-family home construction saw its greatest decline of the COVID-19 era last month, according to data published Tuesday.
The Commerce Department said overall private home starts fell sharply in April and were down almost 10% from March.
Construction of single-family homes declined 13%, the largest decline since April 2020 when the U.S. economy shut down in response to the coronavirus' arrival.
However, the department figures show April's total, while down, was still 67% higher year to year.
The government report also said housing completions in April were down 4.4% from March, but 22% higher over the past 12 months.
A couple factors in the slowdown, experts say, are increasing costs of commodities and a shortage of skilled labor.