Latest News

Feb. 21, 2008 - January Housing Starts Down 28% From Last Year

Privately owned housing starts in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,012,000, reported the U.S. Department of Commerce yesterday. This is a 27.9 percent drop from the revised January 2007 rate of 1,403,000, but a slight 0.8 percent rise from the revised December 2007 estimate of 1,004,000.

Single-family housing starts in January were at a rate of 743,000, a decline of 5.2 percent from the December figure of 784,000. The January rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 247,000.

January building permits for privately owned housing units were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,048,000 - a 33.1 percent decline from the revised January 2007 estimate of 1,566,000, and 3 percent below the revised December rate of 1,080,000.

Single-family authorizations in January were at a rate of 673,000; this is 4.1 percent below the December figure of 702,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 336,000 in January.

Privately owned housing completions in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,351,000 - 26.2 percent below the revised January 2007 rate of 1,830,000, but 1.8 percent above the revised December estimate of 1,327,000. Single-family housing completions in January were at a rate of 1,010,000; this is 1 percent below the December figure of 1,020,000. The January rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 303,000.

Last month’s gain in starts from December was led by a 19 percent increase in the Northeast and a 12 percent rise in the Midwest. Starts declined 3 percent in the South and 6 percent in the West. Single-family housing starts in the West were the lowest since 1959, the Commerce Department said.

“Builders continue to do what they need to do to reduce the inventory of units on the market, both by limiting new production and pulling fewer permits for new homes,” said Sandy Dunn, a home builder from Point Pleasant, W.Va., and newly elected president of the National Association of Home Builders. “We’re doing our part; Congress needs to do its part as well so that housing can once again be a major engine of economic growth.”

“Single-family builders in our latest surveys have indicated that improving affordability factors and the large selection of homes on the market are helping draw more potential buyers to model homes in recent weeks,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders. “However, until that increased traffic of prospective buyers translates to higher home sales and significantly lower inventories, builders are doing the responsible thing to bring supply and demand back into alignment by keeping the brakes on new construction.”

Recession Or No Recession? Housing starts are near their lowest level since 1991, a sign the deepest real-estate recession in a quarter century will continue to weigh on the economy this year, said A glut of unsold homes, mounting foreclosures and falling prices signal the housing slump will continue to detract from growth, setting the stage for more interest-rate cuts. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke last week said the Fed was ready to act in a “timely” manner to keep the expansion from faltering. said the prolonged decline in housing, with falling sales and weak prices, has been a major drag on the overall economy. Growth was at a near standstill in the final three months of last year, rising at an annual rate of just 0.6 percent.

Some economists believe growth in this quarter and the next will turn negative, fulfilling the classic definition of a recession. To combat the economic weakness, Congress passed a $168 billion economic stimulus package to provide tax rebates to millions of families starting this spring.

The Fed slashed its own forecast for economic growth in a new projection released Wednesday but still had no recession in its outlook, said. The updated forecast projected the overall economy will grow between 1.3 percent to 2 percent this year, down from an October forecast when the Fed had predicted the economy would grow by a stronger 1.8 percent to 2.5 percent this year.

Materials, Appliance Demand: The decline in home construction, exacerbated by tighter credit conditions, is slowing demand for construction materials and appliances, and increasing firings at builders, lenders and retailers, noted Falling home prices also leave consumers feeling less wealthy, slowing the spending that makes up two-thirds of the economy and threatening to push the economy into a recession.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Supply House Times. Stay connected with us via social media.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

BNP Media's Plumbing Group Visits Grundfos North American Headquarters

BNP Media’s Plumbing Group, comprised of the Plumbing & Mechanical, Supply House Times, PM Engineer (pme) and Reeves Journal brands, recently visited Grundfos’ new North American headquarters building in the western Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, Ill.

3/19/15 2:00 pm EST

The Juggling Act of Specifications

Learn how to "juggle" the different variables when speccing a project with tips from this webinar. Gain knowledge in how specifications work, how it's maintained, how it can be better, easier and simpler. 

Supply House Times


2014 January

SHT's packed January issue incdues the cover story: M&L Supply is rich in heritage and customer service; features:  Industry optimism continues to rise heading into the 2015 AHR Expo, and Distributors discuss top industry issues: Part 2; and so much more!


Table Of Contents Subscribe

Where do you look for new employees?

Where do you look for new employees?
View Results Poll Archive

The Supply House Times Store

2015 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research

CS-OflRGBhomepage.jpgWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


facebook Twitter Updated icon Youtube Updated icon    LinkedIn Updated icon  Google+

Premier 125

Premier 125 button

The information SUPPLY HOUSE TIMES uses to rank the Premier 125 is the most accurate we can gather. It is primarily based on responses to a questionnaire we send to the wholesalers in our database, supplemented with information obtained from industry reports and estimates.