How deep is the housing crash? Data for new building permist gives us some idea. Since September 2005, permits are down 31 percent. Since new permits are a leading indicator for future housing sector developments, the short term prospects for the industry are bleak.

However, some might look at this chart and see some hope. The most recent data suggests that permits have stabilised at around 1.6 million. Time will tell whether this is the case or not, but even if permits have stablised, the industry has lost an enormous amount of activity.