Bloomberg: “April Housing Starts Drop on Apartments”

Bloomberg reports on May 19:

U.S. Economy: April Housing Starts Drop on Apartments (Update1)

…Housing starts unexpectedly slid 13 percent to an annual rate of 458,000, led by a 46 percent tumble in multifamily starts, which tend to be more volatile, Commerce Department figures showed in Washington. Building permits, a sign of future construction, fell 3.3 percent to a record low of 494,000.

While the homebuilding slump has brought the supply of new properties below the rate households are being created, surging unemployment will temper the likely rebound, analysts said. The plunge in apartments and condominiums also reinforces concern about the impact of the credit crunch on commercial real estate…

Construction of single-family homes rose 2.8 percent to a 368,000 rate, today‚Äôs report showed, the second straight monthly gain. Work on multifamily homes, such as townhouses and apartment buildings, plummeted to an annual rate of 90,000 from 167,000 the month before…

The decrease in starts was led by a 31 percent decline in the Northeast…

See also:

AP: “Empty condos give universities new dorm space” (5/30/09)
Sales of condos in April were down 9 percent from year-ago levels and are off 46 percent from the frenzied peak in June 2005, the National Association of Realtors said this week. At the current, sluggish sales pace there is more than a year’s supply of units on the market.

Wall Street Journal: Condo Market Unravels (5/7/09)
…Mr. Swig’s battles are a sample of what is happening nationwide in
the condo-development sector as thousands of new units keep being
delivered into a market in which demand has evaporated…

Gazette: “Condo Clampdown – Tougher mortgage rules hamper condominium market” (3/14/09)
At least 70 percent of the housing units in a new condo project,
including condo conversions, must be sold or under contract before
Fannie Mae backs a mortgage…

Boston Globe: “Double-digit drops in home sales, prices” (4/30/09)
Condo sales in the first quarter dropped nearly 27 percent.

USA Today: “Why home values may take decades to recover” (12/15/08)
…So far, home values nationally have tumbled an average of 19% from
their peak. As bad as that is, prices would need to fall as least 17%
more to reach their traditional relationship to household income,
according to a USA TODAY analysis of home prices since 1950…

New York Times: Downsides of Owning a Condo in a Downturn (5/15/08)
“…your fate is tied to 50 or 100 other people who may stop making
their condo payments,” [says Sam Chandan, chief economist at the real
estate research firm Reis]…

[Condo owner Mark Mills] resents neighbors who have rented units they
cannot sell to 20-somethings, who leave beer bottles in the lobby and
hold late-night parties…

Woes in Condo Market Build As New Supply Floods Cities: Wall Street Journal (3/22/08)
The deteriorating economy isn’t helping. “When the world goes to hell
in a handbasket, the last thing anyone wants to buy is a condo,” says
Cathy Schlegel, a mortgage-loan broker in Fort Worth, Texas…