Construction spending hits historic lows
Construction spending continued the same downward trend it exhibited all of 2009 in December, as real estate, public and private construction all dipped from the previous months’ numbers to levels not seen since 2003, according to a federal report released Monday.
Overall, construction dropped 12.4 percent from the year before, the report from the U.S. Department of Commerce said, from $1,072.1 billion to $939.1 billion
Residential construction was one of the hardest hit, taking a 2.8 percent drop from November to December and a 28 percent drop from 2008 to 2009. A local example of the those figures come from Nashville, Tenn., where Realtor Stephanie Crawford said they went from building at a “frenzied pace” in 2007 to having eight buyers back out of pre-construction agreements, and only two new multi-family housing development projects in the works.
“Did I see it coming? Perhaps a little, but I don’t think any of us anticipated the crash would be as hard-hitting or deeply wounding as it has been. It feels like getting mugged,” Crawford said.