Martin Crutsinger for the Associated Press reports that the housing slump has hit new lows. The Commerce Department reported this morning that construction was started on 1.353 million homes and apartments, a 24.8% drop from 2006. It was the second biggest annual decline on record. The biggest was a 26% drop in 1980.
A number of economists now believe that the housing slump is going to rival the drop in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when construction fell four straight years. But chin up: they also believe that after weakness this year, the housing market could begin a rebound in 2009.
If your house is hemorrhaging equity and you want to hedge that, one way to do so is with short housing ETFs, such as the UltraShort Real Estate ProShares (SRS), which might see decent performance numbers amid all this bad news.
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.