Since comparisons between Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama appear to be very popular these days, I have added yet another chart to the mix.
During the Bush’s second term, housing starts fell off a cliff. While they seem to have stabilized under the Obama Administration, they have not improved.
Annualized housing starts averaged roughly 1.6 million per month during the Bush Administration vs. about 572,000 during the Obama Administration. Since both Presidents were in power in January 2009, I included the 490,000 annualized housing starts in both of their numbers.
While Obama bears no responsibility for the low levels of housing at the beginning of his administration, it is clear that things have not improved over the last two and a half years since he took office.
Housing starts are an important indicator of economic health. Housing production generates a tremendous amount of economic activity that touches on multiple industries.
So far, things look anything but healthy.