The Quadruple Dip: Housing Starts, Permits Drop, Miss Expectations; Houses Under Construction At New Record Low
Since the triple dip in housing was recently circumvented courtesy of QE2, and was "transitory" in theory today's subpar housing starts and permits data is the beginning of the quadruple dip. And subpar it was: starts came at 523K on expectations of 569K, down from revised 585K previously. Permits were also ugly, missing expectations by a comparable account, printing at 551K, with consensus of 590K(and the previous revised this time lower from 594K to 574K). In starts, annualized single-family units dropped from 415k to 394k, with declines in Northeast and South, and increases in the Midwest and West. The actual, non-annualized number of starts was 46.8k, with 36.2k in single family units. Completions increased modestly from 532k to 554k. And the most interesting number was the number of houses under construction, which hit a fresh all time low on an annual, seasonally adjusted basis, or 418k. At this point it is probably passe to bring up the Cramer clip calling the housing bottom back in 2008.