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Hardly a drop in the bucket, two housing-related reports released today revealed more significant declines in market indicators.

Spending for residential construction projects in the country dropped 2.1 percent from last month and 2.8 percent from last July, the Commerce Department reported today.

MarketWatch reports that it was the lowest rate of growth in private home-construction spending since March 2005.

The other report came from the National Association of Realtors – its Pending Home Sales Index revealed a 7 percent drop from the previous month for July’s sales, and a 16 percent drop from July 2005.

David Lereah, NAR’s chief economist, pointed in a statement to those strong fundamentals Realtors love to talk about:

“We’ve never seen a general decline in the housing market against a healthy economic backdrop where jobs are being created, the economy in growing and interest rates are favorable,” he said.

And Lereah said the decline, though more pronounced than had been forecasted, indicates he thinks the market’s on its way back to normal:

“The index shows existing-home sales should continue to ease after a stronger-than-expected decline in July, but are likely to flatten in the months ahead”…

Lereah’s optimism is tempered by the reports and slashed profit outlooks reported in recent weeks. Scroll down to refresh your memory.

KELLY BENNETT

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