It's been a while since I posted on US Housing. However there were no surprises unless of course you were expecting a bottom anytime soon. Here are the details in brief:
Permits were down -17.7% from June to a SA annual rate of 937,000 and were -32.4% below July 2007. Permits for single family homes fell -5.2% from June to a SA annual rate of 584,000 and were down -41.4% from July 2007. The lowest level since August 1982.
Starts were down -11.0% from June to a SA annual rate of 965,000 and were -29.6% below July 2007. The lowest level in 17 years.
Completions were down -8.7% from June to 1,035,000 and were -31.7% below July 2007. Completions of single-family homes dropped -7.2% in July to a SA annual rate of 791,000, the lowest since March 1983.
Remember permits are generally considered a better indicator of building fundamentals than starts, which can be heavily influenced by weather conditions. The sampling error on permits is also lower.
Completions follow starts by about 6 months. The decline in permits in July suggests further drops in starts next month. It will be interesting to see if the bottom callers start making noises today, I'm betting they will be conspicuous by their absence.
Tuesday, 19 August 2008