Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Housing Starts (Graph)

Housing Starts, Chart

Housing Starts 518

The chart shows the severity of the drop to 458,000 starts. The all time record low for this series dating back to 1959. The chart also compares this cycle to the previous four recession. Not a good picture.

On the hand, it is a disaster. On the other hand, is the glass half full?

The core level of custom houses being built is in the range of 200,000 -- 250,000. These houses are pre-ordered and built to buyer specifications. So, the number of houses being started by building companies is dwindling down toward the 200,000 area.

In the short run, this is bad for the economy. On the other hand, the overhanging supply of houses might get drawn down sooner than expected.
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