Housing Boom, R.I.P.

CNN/Money suggests that the evidence for the end of the national housing boom is… ahem… building:

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) – The pace of home building slowed sharply in October as higher mortgage rates began to bite, a government report showed Thursday, in the latest sign that the housing boom may have peaked. Housing starts fell to an annual rate of 2.01 million in October from a revised 2.13 million pace in September, the Commerce Department reported, while economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast a reading of 2.06 million.

While a pace of 2 million new housing projects a year is still strong, the reading was the second weakest of 2005.

Building permits, seen as a measure of how home builders view the market, sank to an annual rate of 2.07 million from 2.22 million in September, again coming in well below Wall Street forecasts.

The report comes on the heels of surveys of realtors that suggested a softening housing market and a separate survey that showed a big drop in home builders’ confidence.

As always, for more about the state of the fading housing boom, see our resident expert, Calculated Risk.