It is not news that housing starts have fallen off a cliff.
A handy chart from Calculated Risk here, and below.
The red line represents single family spec construction.
The blue line represents single family owner built.
The brown line represents rental construction.
The green line represents condo construction.
The vertical blue lines represent recessions. It is interesting
to note that housing starts were plummeting well before the
current recession's commencement date.
There will come a time when the trend lines start going
upward again. Patience.