Property Worsens: Beginning, Middle or End?

Thursday, October 18, 2007 | 07:21 AM

A few quick words on yesterday's Housing data: Of course, it was god-awful. Despite the incessant bottom-calling by the clueless, spin-miesters, and industry insiders, we are nowhere near the end of the cycle.

If we are lucky, this is now the middle -- as opposed to 2nd year of a decade long slump.

As to yesterday's data -- it was a mixed blessing. The manifest problems in Housing are twofold: Prices are too high, and inventory is too great. These are of course, related. Once prices come down further, the supply problems will begin to clear up. So the enormous drop in permits/starts is, perversely, a good thing.

Let's go to the data: 

• New construction of homes in the United States fell 10.2% in September (seasonally adjusted 1.19 million units)

• The drop in housing starts was the 4th consecutive monthly decline.

• We are now ar the lowest level for new home construction since March 1993.

• Starts of single-family homes fell 1.7% to 963,000 (annualized); 

• Construction of large apartment units plummeted 34.4% to 228,000.

• Building permits fell 7.3% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.23 million -- the lowest level since July 1993.

So there is no bottom anywhere in sight. The scary question is whether we are in the 5th/6th inning, or the 1st/2nd inning.

For a real good read, Dan Gross goes postal on Treasury Secretary Paulson: Dan claims that the subprime collapse didn't bother the Bush administration until Wall Street bankers started whimpering: Protecting Paulson's Pals.

Lastly, considering how much denial there was for the longest time, I found some of the Wall Street economists comments at Real Time Economic terribly amusing. This crowd has not yet begun to panic . . .

Housing Starts amd CompletionsStartscompletions


chart courtesy of Calculated Risk


New Residential Construction
(Building Permits, Housing Starts, and Housing Completions

New construction falls 10.2% to fewest housing starts since '93
Detroit Free Press, October 17, 2007

Protecting Paulson's Pals
Daniel Gross
Slate, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2007, at 5:52 PM ET

Economists React: ‘Horrific’ Housing
October 17, 2007, 10:25 am

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services Reviews Ratings on Certain U.S. Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Issued in 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007 | 07:21 AM | Permalink | Comments (38) | TrackBack (1) add to | digg digg this! | technorati add to technorati | email email this post



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Tracked on Oct 20, 2007 2:49:58 AM


I hear alot of "Foreclosure Ads" urging people to get in on the great deals available now...My guess is plenty of people will "get in too early" before the bottom is in...

BTW, in order to combat the massive price increases in food cigarettes and hospital care, I have taken to the following:

eating "apparel" as source of nutrition...
smoking "electronics"...
hitting the "used car lot" for Medical Care

Posted by: SINGER | Oct 18, 2007 7:53:49 AM

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