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U.S. Housing Permits – A Historical Viewpoint

Posted on April 25th, 2012 at 0:17 by Sueyourdeveloper in category: News -- Write a comment


Over the past weeks and months, we’ve been subjected to conflicting data regarding the state of the housing market in the United States with some data releases showing an improvement in housing and other data showing that we are not at the bottom.  The folks at the St. Louis Federal Reserve have some interesting data that gives us some perspective on how the housing market looks compared to its past history as measured by the number of authorized new private housing units building permits or PERMITin FRED lingo.
Here is a graph showing the number of building permits (in thousands) over the past three years:
But, wait a minute.  Let’s look back a bit further in time to see how the current monthly new housing permit data looks compared to what it looked like over the past decade:
Now, let’s look at all of the data that FRED has for PERMIT going back two generations to January 1960 when most baby boomers were still wearing either diapers or short pants:
On this measure recent housing starts in the US are the worst in a half century.
  1. There’s an oversupply of housing in most places in the US, so it’s no surprise that there’re few housing starts. This is a natural result of overbuilding (not to mention the general economic bust).

    It’d also be interesting to see regional housing starts versus population graphs. Places with heavy job losses are seeing people move away (e.g., Las Vegas metro area). Not only is there oversupply of houses for the original population, but there are now fewer people living in the area.

  2. There are more empty houses in the USA than there are homeless people.

  3. And those can be used: (via Make):


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