(By JIM BUCHTA, Star Tribune)
Dogged by a stagnant housing market and an overhang of unsold inventory, 2007 was the worst year in more than a decade for Twin Cities-area home builders, according to year-end data released Tuesday by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC).
In 2007, home builders were issued 4,888 permits to build 8,961 units in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. That's a 29 percent decline in new units over 2006 and a 53 percent decline since the market peak of 2003.
"The past year significantly tested consumers' resiliency and confidence," 2007 association President Michael Noonan said. "Consumer confidence is the foundation of our market, and although eroded, it remains standing for us to rebuild."
The slowing market challenged builders, too. They drew only 275 permits to build 557 units in December -- a 43 percent decline in permits and a 28 percent decline in new units compared with December 2006.
The market is in its fourth year of contraction after an astonishing peak in 2003, as buyers worry that the market hasn't hit bottom and that prices will continue to fall, or are nervous that the houses they own won't sell if they decide to buy new ones.
Continue reading: Minneapolis Builders See Worst Year