Housing starts fell less than expected in November, but fall they did, extending the worst housing slump since 1991. Starts fell 3.7% and, according to one analyst, probably won’t turn around until the third quarter of next year. Permits issued, which give a picture of future construction, fell to a 14-year low, Bloomberg reports.
“Builders need to build fewer homes if we're ever going to have a chance of getting rid of this inventory,” one economist said. Subprime foreclosures have flooded the market and depressed prices, while tightening mortgage rules have reduced the pool of buyers. And the oversupply problem is about to get worse: Foreclosures hit an all-time high in the third quarter.