Good news! Housing starts continue to freefall.

This is good, at least for Housing, as it no longer adds to the enormous pile of unsold inventories that need to be worked through. (Its bad news for the economy, though).

• Single-Family home starts (permits) fell 3.8% to 532,000, a 26-Year Low;
• Starts on all residential properties dropped to
817,000 (way below consensus);

• Privately-owned housing starts in September were 31.1% (±8.3%) below the revised September 2007 rate of 1,185,000.
• Construction of single-family homes dropped 12% to a 544,000 annual rate;
• Housing completions in September were 20.4% (±9.6%) below the revised September 2007
• Residential Building permits fell 8.3% to 786,000, a 27-year low.

Rex Nutting adds: "Housing starts were off 31% in the past year and were down more than
60% from the peak in early 2006. In the past year, permits for
single-family homes have dropped 39%, single-family starts have fallen
42%, and single-family completions have sunk 27%.



U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development
OCTOBER 17, 2008 AT 8:30 A.M. EDT

See also:
Housing starts fall to second-lowest rate in 50 years
Building permits drop 8% to a 27-year low, government data show
Rex Nutting
MarketWatch, 11:07 a.m. EDT Oct. 17, 2008

Category: Real Estate

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

16 Responses to “Housing Starts Stop”

  1. GB says:

    I think we can say the housing bubble has burst.

    BR – 1 to add to the 1000 what went wrong list of problems. How about the local governments that handed out all these building permits. Shouldn’t they be conscerned about oversupply in their towns? Just a thought and another one to add to the list. Where it lies? I think it maybe top ten.

  2. I-Man says:


    Now all we need is for LIBOR to come down, prices to stop falling so fast so more people dont default, wages to begin to increase, job creation to rise, and banks beginning to lend.

    Then we’re out of the woods!

  3. the0ther says:

    rex nutting is the worstest fakest fake name i have ever ever ever heard. i might have to stop reading this blog if you continue to put that name in print.

  4. Brandon says:

    Housing is a huge reason the economy is in the mess it is in right now. Our country is in so much debt right now because of this mess. Yes, there are other factors that help but housing sure is a large part. I read an article yesterday and it said they need to build a new debt clock because they don’t have enough digits on it anymore lol. Here is the article

  5. Homefires says:

    Home starts the lowest since 1982. Below are the mtg rates during 1982. What’s different this time?:
    1982-01-01 17.40
    1982-02-01 17.60
    1982-03-01 17.16
    1982-04-01 16.89
    1982-05-01 16.68
    1982-06-01 16.70
    1982-07-01 16.82
    1982-08-01 16.27
    1982-09-01 15.43
    1982-10-01 14.61
    1982-11-01 13.83
    1982-12-01 13.62

  6. JK says:

    Rex Nutting is Washington bureau chief of MarketWatch and is fond of his name.

  7. Steve Dallas says:

    BR is correct. The best housing start number is ZERO.
    Or as my friend from Naples, FLA says the best use of bailout money is to buy up houses and KNOCK THEM DOWN!!!

    There is a brand new house accross the steet from him, never been lived in, and it’s oozing mold out of the windows.

  8. Movie Guy says:

    Has anyone compared housing data and new starts to the period, 1929-1933?

    I’m not saying that the comparison would be worthwhile, just wondering if anyone has done it.

  9. ramster says:

    I’m a little confused. Given the current sorry state of affairs, why isn’t the number of starts close to zero? I guess there are some non-bubbly markets without excess supply but that seems inadequate to justify half a million starts. If you’re a builder, what’s the logic in adding supply to such a crappy market. Why not just sit on your cash?

  10. Albnyc says:

    Bad news for economy in short/intermediate term, but longer term this needs to happen to have any chance of providing a floor under housing.

  11. Bob A says:

    Good news for economy that idiots are finally starting to come to their senses and look for other work. Builders must be the slowest learners after bankers.

    There are so many unsold condos around. We got 2000 or so new units just or nearing completion and another 1000 or so still going up in my downtown… 200 unit buildings recently completed with maybe 10 or 15 units lit up at night? yep.

  12. thedoc says:

    Hey BR, still waiting for your modern blog. I have developed keratoconjunctivitis sicca from viewing this clutter++++ over the yrs. Thanks.

  13. Marty Scorsese says:

    Hey Barry, you wanna buy my timeshare in Boca?

  14. ben says:

    Housing starts would be best at 0.

  15. Unsympathetic says:

    Housing SHOULD be falling. Housing must fall to the affordable (3 x income) level. At present, housing nominal price is FAR above any index of affordability.

    Why is there no demand? Nobody can afford the gratuitously inflated house price level.

    Greenspan knew this would be the result – he was simply payed enough to look the other way.

  16. abbab says:

    >Posted by: Albnyc | Oct 17, 2008 10:26:26 AM

    >Good news for economy that idiots
    >are finally starting to come to
    >their senses and look for other work…

    You call me an idiot, I call you a Effin JACKASS.

    If you think it is just so GD easy to “just go out and find another job” then I hope your ASSS gets fired just so you can go see hoe much FUN it really is you GD MORON- Fuck you