How does 2008 differ from 1991, the last time we endured a housing slowdown?

Banker & Tradesman has some shocking data.

A total of 538 residential permits were issued in Massachusetts in January [2008], 70 percent fewer than the same month in 2007 …

Last year’s permitting pace was 25 percent lower than 2006. In 2007, 14,874 permits were issued, down from 19,805 in 2006 …

During the last cycle, permitting peaked at around 45,000 in 1986 and took five years reach bottom at 12,672 …

And, that, in a nut-shell, is why the majority of Massachusetts cities and towns have yet to see any widespread problems. Not enough supply, steady demand.

Good and bad, right? Good, you can still sell your house for close to what you want, and good, we’re not seeing the problems they are seeing in AZ, CA, and FLA. Bad, oh, right, housing is a big 3.4% cheaper than a year ago.

Great. I can go to the movies. By myself.

Source: Bay State Permitting Plunges As Builders Make Cutbacks – By Aglaia Pikounis, Banker & Tradesman

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