December U.S. housing starts fall; permits surge



EDITOR’S NOTE: There are two things wrong with the facts presented here. First, housing starts fell. Why were there any housing starts? We have a glut of empty homes that were never purchased, a glut of empty homes and neighborhoods that were foreclosed out of existence, and a glut of empty homes caused by unemployment and falling real wages. People are in debt up to their ears, savings are running out, and even parental help is being strained. Where are the buyers coming from?

Second, permits are rising, meaning that new housing starts are expected to rise shortly. It seems to me that between the millions of empty homes and whatever demand is out there, local government could use some creativity and steer buyers into the empty homes before they started construction on new ones. I know that new construction creates jobs, but there are tens of thousands of new jobs that are waiting to be filled but can’t because American workers have not been retrained and foreign workers with training are scarce either because of plain old supply or because of governmental restrictions.

My last comment is longer range: assuming the mortgages are not valid and the chain of title has been corrupted on some 20 million homes, the possibilities are endless for a return of wealth to the middle class and formerly middle class to get back their old homes or move into other empty homes. The construction of new homes in these circumstances is absurd. But the application of existing law, cleaning house on title chains and knocking out intermediaries who never were the lenders, shows far more promise for the fundamentals in our economy.

Related stories
U.S. stock futures flat ahead of Goldman results (7:30a)
Coming up: U.S. housing starts in December (8:00a)
Home-builder sentiment index stuck for third month (Jan. 18)
7 reasons why consumers won’t spur a recovery (12:01a)

By Jeffry Bartash
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – Construction of new U.S. homes fell 4.3% to an annualized rate of 529,000 in December, but permits jumped 16.7%, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected housing starts in December to drop to 545,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis. Yet permits for new construction, viewed as a more accurate gauge of home building, jumped to an annualized rate of 635,000 in December – the highest level since last March – from a revised 544,000 in November. Housing starts in November were little changed.

8 Responses

  1. I would not buy a foreclosure so that narrows it down since that’s a lot of houses isn’t it I could not prosper from someone elses pain and financial demise. Yes it’s bad KARMA.

  2. Hello a home is a liability

  3. I do not see any new construction on the countless empty lots located in N.W. Phoenix.
    Must be news to me. The only thing I see is Wall Street being funded with stolen money and several Congressman and Senators who will be collecting their bountiful retirement plans that were scammed from home owners and US tax payers within the next 2 to 4 years. Where is McCain ? We can guess he is too busy building his fence on the Mexican border and / or selling Budweiser products.

  4. Well: I am going to split with Neil a tiny litle bit on this one.

    Nobody wants foreclosed housing: for many many reasons.

    The most important reason is that living in the detritus of other’s poor luck is bad Joss.

    But defective titles will also certainly slow down the resale market.

    I would never execute a purchase of any property which carried the sniff of somebody else’s bad luck. I will not buy a car that has been repossessed.

    But I’d have no problem buying a house from and estate and even sleeping in the bed of the person who died there: that is good luck. The spirit will look after you.

  5. I hate all these articles about “how the economy is getting better” crap!!!, usually those writers have no clue what the hell is going on out there!! and it’s all based on either assumptions or someone else’s “opinions”, however I too have seen new homes going up and it simply blows my mind, incomprehensible, totally, as Neil pointed out, there are thousands if not millions of homes that could very well be used/bought instead of building some more, in my opinion that’s not going to help in any way, well perhaps it helps the few carpenters, electricians, etc. working at the project itself, but in the bigger picture I believe that’s detrimental to our “recovery” as a whole. I’ts not so much the infrastructure that needs attention right now as it is to enforce the Judicial full force, it may stall things for a while, but once the “monster” it’s gone, it’ll be by far be more beneficial to our country as a whole. Now on the other hand, politicians, as usual see the solution doing what they do best, screwing us more and more with higher taxes of all sorts, sometimes i wonder if these goofs understand what inflation is… seems to me that they think the dollar has the same value it did several years ago, go figure!!!

  6. I live in SC, and there are some new housing tracts going up here along the coast for retirees. The retirees have come to SC, because Florida is too expensive and has very high insurance costs because of hurricanes. Property taxes are much higher as well in Florida. The rest of the state is not really showing much in the way of new housing.

  7. NeiderMeyer great comment.

    Did anybody hear about this?

    JUDGE FINDS EQUITY ALLOWS FORECLOSURE TO PROCEED THOUGH MORTGAGE NOTE LOST A Bergen County chancery judge says a foreclosure action can go forward even though the original lender lost the mortgage note and thus never passed it along when it assigned the mortgage to the bank now trying to enforce the debt. The Jan. 11 ruling is a rare bit of good news for mortgage lenders, who are under increased judicial scrutiny and face a possible suspension of foreclosures in New Jersey over alleged “robo-signing” and other lax practices. Superior Court Judge Mary Thurber granted summary judgment for Bank of America even though it did not possess the note, as required to enforce a mortgage under the N.J. version of the Uniform Commercial Code. She based her decision in Bank of America, N.A. v. Alvarado, BER-F-47941-08, on the common law doctrine of assignment and the equitable claim of unjust enrichment.

  8. Permits don’t always turn into homes ,, many are taken out and never acted upon … The major homebuilders are still trying to get rid of (land) inventory and keep their (core) people working.. The false reports of a rebound in the US economy is the driving force here, one last chance to build and sell before inflation hits interest rates and nothing moves.

Contribute to the discussion!

%d bloggers like this: