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Builders embrace reality

By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Posted: 9 am ET

A sign of sanity: Housing stats were down last month. Builders started constructing houses in June at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 549,000 units. That's a 5 percent drop from the May figure, and a 5.8 percent drop from the previous June.

Keep in mind that the margins of error on those numbers are more than 10 percentage points.

Housing completions were way up, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 886,000 in June.

In terms of raw numbers (actual number of houses completed and started, instead of seasonally adjusted annual rates): Builders finished 79,000 houses in June, and started building 54,200 more. The housing bucket is emptying faster than it's being filled, which is a sign that builders are facing the reality that hardly anyone is buying a house nowadays.

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