Building Permits For New Housing Drop To 51-Year-Low
The last time so few new permits were issued for housing construction, it was 1961 -- when American economists first began keeping records of the numbers of housing permits as an economic indicator.
There are millions of unwanted, unsold and unfinished new housing units in this country. Who would buy these things, right? There are also many millions of vacant, foreclosed houses held in "shadow inventory" by the mortgage industry. Also, there are millions of "existing homes" for sale, and millions of houses and condos left vacant because no-one wants to try to sell them, in this market. It's a good thing the American economy isn't completely dependent on construction, housing and lending!
Housing starts posted their biggest decline in 27 years in February while building permits dropped to their lowest level on record, suggesting the beleaguered real estate sector has yet to rebound from its deepest slump in modern history.
Builders also cut their applications for permits to start new projects to a five-decade low.
The decline in construction activity is the latest evidence that the U.S. housing industry is years away from a recovery.
Building permits, an indicator of future construction, fell 8.1 per cent last month to the lowest level on records dating back to 1960. Permit requests for single-family homes saw the biggest decline. Apartments and condos remained flat.