Housing Permits at 10-Year Low

Say it with me now: Sector hasn't hit bottom yet
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2007 1:45 PM CST
Sign placer Mark Garvin, left, loads new home advertising signs on the trailer, Sunday, April 15, 2007, in Las Vegas. Housing Starts were unexpectedly up this month, but permits were down. (AP Photo/Jae...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Homebuilding permits fell for the fifth straight month in October to their lowest point since 1993, another signal that single-family home construction is drying up. Housing starts were unexpectedly up, but those were mostly work on condo projects. “All of us are ratcheting down our expectations for the bottom of the housing sector,” an economist told Bloomberg. “I don’t think we’re there yet.”

Construction permits dropped 6.6% to 1.17 million, and the number's not done falling. “Builders have too much inventory… and are likely to cut back further,” one economist said, predicting a spring or summer bottom. But another economist tells MarketWatch, "The bottom is not in sight."