Housing starts in October were 628,000, down from September’s revised figure of 630,000. Let’s be clear here. These are annual figures, not monthly.
In 2005, the rate was over two million per year.
The 628,000 included apartment houses. Single-family dwellings were 430,000. This is what people with the credit to buy want to buy. There are not many people who can afford to.
The fact that there is an expected market for multi-family units points to the inability of Americans to buy. They will be forced to rent. This screams: “Rotten economy.”
What about housing actually completed? “Privately-owned housing completions in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 584,000. This is 5.7 percent below the revised September estimate of 619,000 and is 2.8 percent below the October 2010 rate of 601,000.” In other words, the indicator is falling, year to year.
This is a disaster. The home building industry is in a depression. Nothing like this has been seen since the Great Depression.
Housing construction was a major employer for people without college education. Like a tortoise, it is now on its back. There is no sign that it will get back in its old pattern next year or the year after. The inventory of unsold homes is too great.