OpinionIndustry News

All eyes on housing, economy in fourth quarter

Guest perspective: Several indices point to gloomy report card

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The fourth quarter is going to be a very interesting test to see how well the economy holds up during the housing downturn. Based on our conversations with builders and trades from all over the country, construction is likely to slow much more than usual in the fourth quarter because of excess inventory (most communities have enough standing or under-construction inventory to satisfy the current sales pace) and cash flow (generating cash flow and reducing debt are what most builders need to focus on the most). Residential investment has fallen back to normal levels and we are highly confident it will fall below the norm this quarter. Let's continue to hope that government, health care and technology businesses continue to thrive so economic growth continues. Our grading system of the economy and the housing market is a "bell curve" model, with statistics at an all-time high receiving an "A," statistics near the long-term average receiving a "C," and the worst times ever re...