New Residential Construction Is Almost Comatose In November 2010

There is no life left in residential new construction.  Every month, it seems to get worse.  For a few months, green shoots started growing in apartment construction.  In the November 2010 data, there is no way to spin good news.  The headlines from the U.S. Census Bureau:

BUILDING PERMITS
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 530,000. This is 4.0 percent (±2.9%) below the revised October rate of 552,000 and is 14.7 percent (±1.7%) below the November 2009 estimate of 621,000.

Single-family authorizations in November were at a rate of 416,000; this is 3.0 percent (±1.0%) above the revised October figure of 404,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 94,000 in November.

HOUSING STARTS
Privately-owned housing starts in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 555,000. This is 3.9 percent (±12.0%)* above the revised October estimate of 534,000, but is 5.8 percent (±12.0%)* below the November 2009 rate of 589,000.

Single-family housing starts in November were at a rate of 465,000; this is 6.9 percent (±13.5%)* above the revised October figure of 435,000. The November rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 72,000.

HOUSING COMPLETIONS
Privately-owned housing completions in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 513,000. This is 14.1 percent (±10.9%) below the revised October estimate of 597,000 and is 39.6 percent (±8.6%) below the November 2009 rate of 850,000.

Single-family housing completions in November were at a rate of 436,000; this is 10.1 percent (±11.6%)* below the revised October rate of 485,000. The November rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 73,000.

US Census is using seasonally adjusted data in their analysis.  The unadjusted data tells a similar story.  New housing starts are down both MoM and YoY.

The former green shoot – apartments – is down MoM and YoY.

Completions are down YoY and MoM.

As long as there are more housing units being completed then permits issued – the new housing market is still looking for the bottom.

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