Real estate's November report card

Guest perspective: Permits plummet, builders cut jobs

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Nowhere is the housing market slowdown more evident than in the 19,000-plus offices around the country where builders pay for their building permits. Permits issued in the third quarter of this year fell 25 percent from the same period in 2005, and the greatest declines were in some of the largest housing markets in the country. Our preliminary feedback is that October was even worse.