Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Building Permits, Construction Drops

A report by the Commerce Department says that construction of new homes dropped 5.5% in November to the lowest level in 16 years. Applications for building permits fell 1.5% to the lowest level since 1993. Meanwhile, construction of multi-family homes increased 4.4%. The builder sentiment index remained at 19 in December for a third straight month, the lowest reading in more than two decades. And now the question is, can it really get any worse? Naturally, builders are worried: after all the Real Estate speculation, those who got burned no longer have the finances or credit rating to buy a new home. As an interesting aside, a survey by Countrywide Bank showed that getting financially fit is the top New Year’s resolution this year. Physical fitness comes second - households consider sound finances more important than healthy bodies.

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