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Housing Excess Looking Better–But Not As Good As It Seems

September 29, 2008

By Bill Conerly,

Businomics, Conerly Consulting

The excess supply of housing units is being worked off quickly.  Here’s the picture for new single-family homes:

We’ve made a lot of progress towards a normal inventory of unsold homes.  At the rate we’re going (and not making any forecasts about changes in new construction or home sales), we’ll be down to a normal inventory of unsold new homes by May of next year.

However, it’s not quite that good.  There are many excess existing homes on the market.  The overall vacancy rate is still very high.  It will be much longer for the total housing inventory to look decent.  Still, this is good news today.


Bill Conerly is principal of Conerly Consulting LLC, chief economist of, and was previously Senior Vice President at First Interstate Bank. Bill Conerly writes up-to-date comments on the economy on his blog called “Businomics” and produces a monthly audio magazine available on CD. Conerly is author of “Businomics™: From the Headlines to Your Bottom Line: How to Profit in Any Economic Cycle”, which connects the dots between the economic news and business decisions.

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Discuss this article

Bud September 29, 2008

Are these Oregon or countrywide statistics?

cc33 September 29, 2008

Want to get rid of excess housing supply? Try demolishing foreclosed homes. It doesn’t cost that much money. I saw it on the news — I think in San Diego.

Reduce supply and demand goes up.

Bud September 30, 2008

You could at least sell the house at 30% of cost and retain the value. Better than demolishing.

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