Home construction ends its worst year since 1959
In further signs of the dire economic situation, new-home construction fell to record lows in December and jobless claims continued to soar, the government reported Thursday.
New-home construction fell 15.5 percent from November to December to an annual pace of 550,000 units, the slowest pace since the Commerce Department starting compiling the data in 1959. Home builders have all but shut down projects as home values plunge and potential buyers stay on the sidelines of the troubled housing market.
“What you’re seeing is capitulation by home builders,” said John Lonski, chief economist at Moody’s Capital Markets. “The news you got today reinforces the view that stabilization of housing starts is well off into the future,” according to a Jan. 22 article in The New York Times.