Wow, great news on the housing front!

Like a house afire

Bloomberg News regurgitates  a press release without – surprise! – adding any historical perspective.

 Builders broke ground on new single-family homes at an annual pace of 535,000 in August, the highest rate since April 2010, when buyers rushed to take advantage of federal tax credits designed to stimulate the market, the Commerce Department reported Sept. 19.

“The housing market has stabilized and the recovery is well under way,” Lennar Chief Executive Officer Stuart Miller said in the statement. “Low mortgage rates, affordable home prices, increased buyer confidence and an extremely favorable rent-to-own comparison are driving growth in each of our markets.”

Of course, there’s a bit of a problem here: even with this surge in construction, the results are simply awful compared to past times. Here’s what the new house market looked like in 2007, a “dismal year” for construction:

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Construction on new homes fell 14% in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.01 million, the slowest building pace in more than 16 years, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

The gruesome figures show builders are cutting back on production at a furious pace to try to work off a large backload of unsold homes. The bad news is that housing is still contracting; the good news is that the sooner builders stop adding supply to overbuilt markets, the sooner the housing market can recover.

National housing starts were lower than the 1.12 million pace expected by economists surveyed by MarketWatch. The pace of housing starts for October and November were also revised lower.

Commerce DepartmentCompared with December 2006, monthly housing starts were off 38%, the biggest year-over-year decline since 1980.

In December, single-family starts fell 3% to 794,000, the lowest monthly pace in 16 years.


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11 responses to “Wow, great news on the housing front!

  1. Peg

    You are so funny, Christopher. The mainstream media has become a giant club of hacks, massaging and manipulating data and events of all sorts to fit their beliefs and narrative. And suddenly, you think they are going to turn into Honest Abe when it comes to housing?

    What is it; April 1st today? 🙂

  2. Pissed off in O.G.

    Well someone is buying stuff. Just had my accepted offer on a house in O.G. broken because someone else called the owner and went over the top.

  3. Anonymous

    @Pissed off. Wow, I thought only a buyer could break a contract after the seller accepted your offer. Obv, I don’t do a lot of buying and selling of homes though.

  4. Al Dente

    They’ll start reporting Afghanistan deaths “Much lower than Normandy!” “Obama a better commander than Ike!”

  5. Anonymous

    Now that the housing bust is over, you need to find a new topic. We have plenty of problems, but housing is no longer one of them. You don’t want to end up sounding like Al Gore repeating the same crap no matter what the facts say.

  6. Pissed off in O.G.

    Yeah, I guess it legal to break the contract, but it isn’t ethical and certainly not nice.

  7. Pissed off in O.G.

    Well I will be T.Ping that house on Halloween. .

  8. Peg

    Anonymous – is their an uptick in the market now? Yes. Is new construction doing better now than it has the last few years? Yes. But I don’t think Christopher said this was false. He was only saying that it is not “happy days are here again.”

    I’m currently working on 2 short sales (one of which now has its THIRD offer) – and plenty of homes in Minnesota (as elsewhere) are still under water. “Better than the last few years” is exactly what it means. It does not mean that things are currently great or even good. Just not awful anymore.

  9. observer

    The last thing I remember housing CEOs saying on CNBC right before the bust was that, from what they could see, everything about the housing market looked strong. Now that they’re all back crowing that things are turning up, I’m a little skeptical.