February 16, 2007
Millions will go unemployed during this REIC downturn. Just like the telecom implosion in 2000, way too much capacity, way too little demand.
The unemployment will only make the housing ponzi scheme unraveling even worse.
Panic is knocking. Knock. Knock. Knock. Knock. Can you hear it? You should.
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - U.S. home builders started the fewest homes in nearly a decade in January, as housing starts plunged 14.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.408 million, the Commerce Department reported Friday.
It's the lowest rate for starts since August 1997. Housing starts were down 37.8% compared with January 2006.
The starts figure was much lower than expected on Wall Street, where economists were looking for a 2% drop to 1.60 million annualized units. The permits figure was close to the 1.58 million expected by median forecast in the MarketWatch survey of economists.
The stunning drop in home building indicates that builders are scaling back their plans on a massive scale to work down the excess inventory of unsold homes on the market. Hopes that a bottom in the housing market has been reached will have to be re-evaluated
Starts of single-family homes dropped 11.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.108 million, the lowest since August 1997. Permits for single-family homes fell 4% to 1.121 million, the lowest since December 1997.
Two weeks ago, the Commerce Department reported that the number of vacant homes increased by 34% in 2006 to 2.1 million at the end of the year, nearly double the long-term vacancy rate. Economists said there are 1 million excess homes.