July New Residential Construction Report: Green Shoots Continue, Look Slightly Droopy

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Includes: ITB, XHB
by: Sold At The Top

Tuesday’s New Residential Construction Report effectively adds a fifth consecutive feather in the cap of the “Green Shoot” camp and further will likely continue to promote a sense that our massive housing decline is finding a bottom.

It’s important to consider that at 490K single family units (SAAR), the level of national housing starts still remains substantially below that seen in October 2008.

Single family housing permits, the most leading of indicators, again suggests sluggish future construction activity dropping 20.35% nationally as compared to July 2008 and an astonishing 73.40% since the peak in January 2005.

Moreover, every region showed significant double digit declines to permits with the Northeast declining 25.59%, the Midwest declining 18.9%, the South declining 18.9%, and the West declining 22.5% on a year-over-year basis.

Keep in mind that these declines are coming on the back of the last three years of record declines.

To illustrate the extent to which permits and starts have declined, I have created the following charts (click for larger versions) that show the percentage changes of the current values on a year-over-year basis as well as compared to the peak year of 2004.





Here are the seasonally adjusted statistics outlined in today’s report:

Housing Permits

Nationally

  • Single family housing permits down 20.3% as compared to July 2008.

Regionally

  • For the Northeast, single family housing down 25.9% as compared to July 2008.
  • For the Midwest, single family housing permits down 18.9% as compared to July 2008.
  • For the South, single family housing permits down 18.9% compared to July 2008.
  • For the West, single family housing permits down 22.5% as compared to July 2008.

Housing Starts

Nationally

  • Single family housing starts down 22.5% as compared to July 2008.

Regionally

  • For the Northeast, single family housing starts down 16.2% as compared to July 2008.
  • For the Midwest, single family housing starts down 22.2% as compared to July 2008.
  • For the South, single family housing starts down 23.4% as compared to July 2008.
  • For the West, single family housing starts down 23.6% as compared to July 2008.

Housing Completions

Nationally

  • Single family housing completions down 40.6% as compared to July 2008.

Regionally

  • For the Northeast, single family housing completions down 32.6% as compared to July 2008.
  • For the Midwest, single family housing completions down 38.5% as compared to July 2008.
  • For the South, single family housing completions down 41.7% as compared to July 2008.
  • For the West, single family housing completions down 42.9% as compared to July 2008.