Builders in the U.S. broke ground in
December on fewer houses than forecast, making last year’s
decline in homebuilding the worst in almost three decades.
The 14 percent decrease to an annual rate of 1.006 million,
the lowest since 1991, followed a 1.173 million pace the prior
month, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. For all
of 2007, starts were down 25 percent, the biggest decline since
1980, to 1.354 million.
Building permits, a sign of future construction, declined
by the most in 12 years, suggesting the housing slump will
deepen as it enters a third year. Rising foreclosures will throw
even more houses onto the market, hurting property values and
threatening to push the economy into recession, economists said.
Some other specific details:
December 2007 starts down 34.4% year over year from December ’06, and off -56% from January 2006 peak.
November 2007 new home sales at a 12 year low, inventory at 9.3 months at the current sales rate
U.S. Housing Starts Drop to Lowest Level Since 1991
Bloomberg, Jan. 17 2008
Housing Starts Plunge 14%, Marking Lowest Level Since 1991
January 17, 2008 9:09 a.m.