Housing Market Implosion Continues

Rising unemployment is making things even worse.

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It only gets worse. From IHS Global Insight:

1) Housing starts plummeted 18.9% in November, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 625,000 units.

2) Data revisions lowered October's estimate by 20,000 to 771,000.

3) Single-family starts dropped 16.9%, to a record low 441,000 units (SAAR); multiple-unit starts fell 23.3%.

4) Permits dropped 15.6%. Single-family permits—the key number in the report—fell 12.3%.

5) By region, starts plunged 34.6% in the Northeast, 23.1% in the Midwest, 16.8% in the West, and 15.6% in the South.

6) The permits estimates point to a possible double-digit drop in starts in both December and January.

Outlook: This may be the worst housing report ever (data starts in 1947). Not only did housing starts, housing permits and single-family starts plunge to all-time lows, the double-digit drop in permits points to further two-digit drops in starts in December and January.

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