Thursday, January 19, 2017

Middle class brick wall: Obama ends his presidency with new housing starts down 34% overall compared with 1959-2008

Not seasonally adjusted, new housing starts averaged 1.28 million per year from 1959-2008, but under Obama they averaged just 0.84 million per year, according to the December data out today, completing his eight year record down 34% from the post-war average.

The monthly average for 2016 annualized is 1.17 million starts, which will end up being Obama's best year but only just above the post-war average cyclical low of 1.13 million per year.

So under Obama all we have done is climb back to the average cyclical low point for new housing starts.

Housing booms have been marked by an average cyclical high of 1.97 million new starts per year in the post-war, but Obama's best performance in 2016 is over 40% off that average high.

2009 marked the low point since 1959, with just 0.55 million new starts, sliding all the way down from the 2005 cyclical high of 2.07 million, a collapse of over 73% for the new housing industry.

Since September 2008 through November 2016 there have been approximately 6.5 million completed foreclosures according to Corelogic here. That means that over 16 million people have been displaced from their homes during the Obama era based on the average household size of 2.5 people.

The homeownership rate in the second quarter of 2016 fell to its lowest point in five decades at 62.9%, the same rate which prevailed in 1965.

Pew reported in December 2015 that after more than four decades as the economic majority in the United States, the middle class had become out-numbered by the combined number of the rich and the poor. Pew reports that in 1971 middle class adults were 61% of their fellows vs. only 50% in 2015. The underclass has grown by 25% while the richest tranche has grown by 125%.

At least some of the decline in the relative size of the middle class has to do with the enormous number of illegal aliens flooding the country since Bill Clinton was elected in 1992, and with a large number of Baby Boomers moving on up in an era of credentialism while eschewing larger families for themselves than they came from.

Births per 1,000 women fell to their lowest point since 1909 in the first quarter of 2016 at 59.8. The rate was 122.9 in 1957.

You can't have a decent country unless you give birth to it.

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