Yesterday’s housing data were suitably glum, with single-family starts and permits both down (0.7% and 3.4%, respectively).
And what about my favorite metric, the number of houses under construction? It fell a hefty 5.3%. Which puts the number of single-family homes under construction at its lowest level in decades:
After the expiration of the new home buyer tax credit, only 286,000 single-family homes were under construction at the end of June. That’s down modestly from the 298,000 to 318,000 levels of the past year, when it looked construction was trying to put in a bottom. Just one more sign of continued weakness in housing markets.