Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New Residential Construction Report: February 2011

Today’s exceptionally weak New Residential Construction Report showed notable declines for both single family permits single family starts which, considering the truly depressed level of new home construction activity, appears to suggest that housing is continuing to remain historically weak.

Single family housing permits, the most leading of indicators, declined 9.3% on a month-to-month basis to 382K single family units (SAAR), dropping a notable 26.96% below the level seen in February 2010 and an astonishing 78.75% below the peak in September 2005.

Single family housing starts declined a whopping 11.8% to 375K units (SAAR), dropping a notable 28.84% below the level seen in February 2010 and a whopping 79.43% below the peak set in early 2006.

With the substantial headwinds of elevated unemployment, epic levels of foreclosure and delinquency, mounting bankruptcies, contracting consumer credit, and falling real wages, an overhang of inventory and still falling home prices, the environment for “organic” home sales remains weak and likely very fragile.