The numbers are still dismal.
Housing starts show no resilience during last month’s holiday season. The New York Post reports, “The Commerce Department reported Thursday that construction of new homes and apartments fell 15.5 percent to an annual rate of 550,000 units last month from November. It was a much weaker showing than the pace of 610,000 that economists were forecasting and ended 2008 on a dismal note. For all of last year, the number of housing units that builders broke ground on totaled just over 904,000, also a record low. That marked a huge 33.3 percent drop from the 1.355 million housing units started in 2007.”
And we couldn’t agree more with Purdue University finance professor Charlene Sullivan who spoke six months ago about the housing market’s continued weakness.
Such views make December’s drop in housing starts seem less surprising to us.