Housing Starts? Stabilize THIS!

Friday, November 17, 2006 | 10:10 AM

Housing_starts_chart So much for that bottom:

Housing Starts plummeted today to the lowest level in 6 years, as builders continue to work out from under a massively bloated inventory of unsold property.

September starts were also revised downwards by 16%, from 5.9 to 4.9%.

The WSJ observed:

"The slowdown in housing this year stands in stark contrast to the past five years, when the lowest mortgage rates in four decades had powered a housing boom that pushed sales of both new and existing homes to five consecutive records.

In a sign that starts will likely continue to fall, October building permits dropped 6.3% to an annual rate of 1.535 million; the last month permits rose was January. Economists expected permits would be up by 0.1% to 1.640 million. Permits decreased a revised 5.2% last month to 1.638 million, compared with an earlier estimated 6.3% drop to 1.619 million.

The housing weakness trimmed a full percentage point off economic growth in the July-September quarter, when the economy expanded at a tepid 1.6% rate. Housing is expected to continue acting as a drag over the next year but analysts believe the adverse effects of falling sales and construction cutbacks will not be enough to pull the country into a recession.

The October 06 Housing Starts were the weakest since July 2000, with Starts down 27% from the same period a year ago.

At present, the Housing situation will exert a much greater drag on Q4 GDP -- even more of a drag than the negative 1.1% of Q3.

Bloomberg quoted Phillip Neuhart, an economist at Wachovia, who said: "This is a shocking number. The market is going to remain weak well into next year.''






New Residential Construction
Census Bureau

New Home-Building Activity Falls to Lowest Level in 6 Years
WSJ, November 17, 2006 9:17 a.m.

U.S. October Housing Starts Drop to Six-Year Low
Joe Richter
Bloomberg, Nov. 17

Friday, November 17, 2006 | 10:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (44) | TrackBack (0)
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Housing is so 2003. How 'bout that NMX.. :)


Posted by: James Bednar | Nov 17, 2006 10:25:50 AM

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