Don’t Take Any More Money Out of Your House
Posted on Jul 30, 2006
The cooling of the U.S. housing market has begun to pull down the entire economy, just as experts had been predicting for several years now.
This was inevitable after the ludicrously overheated highs of the last few years, and we can only hope it’s going to be a slow leak.
The housing industry ? which largely carried the American economy through the tribulations of the 2000 stock-market crash, a recession and climbing oil prices ? has lost its vigor in recent months and now has begun to bog down the broader economy, which slowed to a modest 2.5 percent growth rate this spring.
That was a sharp comedown from the 5.6 percent growth rate of the first quarter, the Commerce Department reported yesterday, caused in part by the third consecutive quarterly decline in spending on houses and apartment buildings, after several years of rapid growth.
?It hasn?t slowed down a little bit ? it has slowed down a lot,? said Doug McCraw, a developer who has scrapped his plans for a 205-unit condominium tower in a neighborhood just north of downtown Fort Lauderdale, Fla. ?Anybody who did not have a shovel in the dirt has chosen to wait till the market settles.?