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Builders rally as US sees drop in home completions

Modern West Coast House
Creative Commons License photo credit: pnwra

American housing completions dropped dramatically in 2008 compared to 2007 levels, government figures show.

The US Department of Commerce said 1.1 million housing units were completed in 2008, 25.7 percent below the 2007 total of 1.5 million.

Brand new single family homes were also being built at a slower rate, the statistics revealed, as real estate developers across the US scale down projects.

Permits to build new housing, a guide to future construction of homes, were also down in December compared to November, falling 10.7 per cent.

Quoted by Bloomberg, Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody’s Economy in Pennsylvania, warned:

“The market is bloated with excess supply and demand is weak. The pace of housing starts will remain depressed until 2011.”

However, many housing firms hope the new Obama administration will develop policies to kick start construction.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), is currently holding its international builder show in Las Vegas, where new chairman Joe Robson underlined the problems facing the sector.

He said:

“We look forward to working with the Obama Administration and the new Congress to develop policies that will help families facing foreclosure, stabilise home prices and put America’s home builders back to work as the engine of the economy.”

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