U.S. Housing Starts

U.S. Housing starts

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US housing starts for the past 52+ years as compiled by the US Bureau of the Census are shown above. The good news is that April 2013 Census figures show permits issued of more than 1,000,000 units for the first time in more than 5 years! (Seasonally adjusted annual rate.) Over the past 52+ years the average build is slightly above 1,400,000 units per year, up from about 1,000,000 units in 1960. Over that period of time we have not seen as deep a decline as the present. Starvation levels persist, as of March 2013 we are now 70 months below the long-term average rate of housing permits issued in the US. It has been 61 months since we have seen a permit issued rate above 1 million, which is "normally" considered to be so low that many production facilities close their doors. At the 500k rate, the industry is in depression, now going on for five years and continuing.From 1991 through 2006 production and production capacity increased to enable building of about 2.3 million homes per year. While some of that production capacity has been closed and dismantled, we believe it is accurate to say that the industry is running at a bit over half capacity at the present time. The slump from 2008 to 2012 is only matched by numbers around 1945, right after WW2, at which time the population of the US was half what it is today.

Conclusion: We are slowly crawling out of a major reversal in the housing industry and it is hard to conclude that the new long term average will exceed 1 million starts & completions for a while yet.

Metriguard Inc
Attn: Sales Department
P.O. Box 399
Pullman, WA 99163
Phone 509-332-7526
Fax 509-332-0485
or E-MAIL sales@metriguard.com