America's crumbling housing market is suffering a further battering as thieves rip apart homes in search of copper wiring and pipes according to The Times.

Greed for the red metal, which has experienced a fivefold increase in price in US scrap markets over the past three years, is damaging further the lowest tranche of America's real estate market as the US struggles to re-emerge from the worst housing recession for two decades.

According to police, policymakers in Washington and real estate brokers, some states in the US are suffering attacks on empty, foreclosed properties to steal copper wiring and pipes to sell to scrap metal merchants.