Back Under 2 Million

Peter Coy

No question--housing construction is slowing. The Census Bureau said today that starts on privately owned housing in December ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.93 million units. That's down almost 6% from a year earlier. It's also the first time since last March that the annual rate has been below 2 million.

This is ...

*Bad for construction workers
*Bad for homebuilding companies because it means their sales will fall
*Good for homebuilding companies because the drop in construction lessens chances of a glut
*Bad for real estate agents, because there's less new inventory to sell
*Good for home sellers because it means there's less fresh supply to compete with
*Bad for homebuyers who were hoping for the same glut that homebuilders fear

Did I leave anything out? Oh, yeah:

*Good for crows. The corn fields they feed on won't be bulldozed under for subdivisions quite so quickly.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.