For over 10 years, from California to New York, through the Sun Belt states and beyond, there was a flourishing chorus of construction noise. Developers, contractors and their insurance teams were working in tandem to help create new neighborhoods, build mixed-use projects and erect towering commercial complexes.

Now, the credit crisis has literally pulled the plug out of the wall, muted the noise and dimmed the lights for residential construction. According to the Commerce Department, residential housing dropped 2.3 percent in April–the 26th consecutive monthly decline. And since there is plenty of inventory out there, this trend is likely to continue well into 2010.

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