This is how the Financial Times described it:
"US housing starts approached their lowest level in nearly half a century in September in a sign of the deepening crisis in residential real estate, figures from the commerce department showed on Friday.
Builders started construction of new homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 817,000 last month, 6.3 per cent lower than the August level of 872,000, and 31.1 per cent lower than a year earlier. It was the weakest level of new building since January 1991, when starts hit 798,000. Excluding that month, which came during the downturn of the early 1990s, starts have never been lower since records began in 1959."