Housing gloom continues as NHBC reports falling start levels
Actual private housing starts registered only 6,890 last month, according to the National House Building Council, a fall of 56% compared with May 2007.
The number of public sector starts was also down, from 4,306 to 2,699.
The figures come in the wake of the gloomy re-forecasts by the Construction Products Association last week which predict that private starts this year will fall 27%.
Meanwhile, bankers Goldman Sachs are predicting three years of downturn for the sector in the light of continuing City unease about housebuilders.