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NHAB Restore better balance to the supply-demand equation

I read?an interesing story recently about??the decline last month in new housing starts.The ?numbers for single-family housing starts are right on the money in terms of what we????ve been forecasting and what our members have told us in recent surveys,??? said Brian Catalde, president of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from El Segundo, Calif.? ???Builders are acting appropriately to manage the number of units coming on the market and help restore better balance to the supply-demand equation.???

???The 14.2 percent decline in overall housing starts for the month of December was due primarily to a 40 percent drop-off in the multifamily sector, which tends to display significant month-to-month volatility,??? noted NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders. ???On a quarterly basis, multifamily production actually has held up relatively well since the peak in the early part of 2006.???Meanwhile, housing permits were down, by lesser margins, in three out of four regions in December. The Midwest posted a 10.6 percent decline, the South posted a 7.8 percent decline, and the West posted an 11.6 percent decline in overall permits for the month, while the Northeast registered a 1.6 percent increase.

On an annual basis, year-end figures from the Commerce Department indicate that overall housing starts declined 24.8 percent in 2007 to 1.35 million units. Single-family starts were down 28.7 percent for the year to 1.05 million units, while multifamily starts were off by 8.4 percent to 308,000 units. Overall permit issuance for new homes and apartments declined 25.2 percent in 2007 to 1.38 million units, with a 29.4 percent decline on the single-family side to 973,000 units and a 12.5 percent decline on the multifamily side to 403,000 units.
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