Housing starts fell to their lowest level since the 1981-82 recession, slumping 0.6 percent in September and marking their eighth consecutive monthly decline, the government reported.

The Commerce Department said starts of new homes and apartments totaled a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.14 million units after falling 1 percent in August.It was the first time starts had fallen for eight straight months since the department began recording them in 1959. And the September level was the lowest since construction of 1.05 million units got under way in 1982.