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Analysis

US single-family home permits

by Gabriel Stein

Mon 24 Mar 2014

US single-family home permits Enlarge Chart loading Image

What the chart shows: The chart shows building permits for single-family homes (thousands, annualised rate).

Why the chart is important: The US housing sector was badly hit by the unusually severe winter, perhaps more so than the rest of the economy. However, February data for building permits – which do not require anyone to spend time outside in the cold – showed a welcome rise and are now broadly back at the levels of early 2008. Interestingly enough, permits to build single-family homes are lagging behind total permits. This may be because American households are getting older – meaning more demand for apartments rather than single-family home s- but also because there is a reluctance to take on the debt involved in buying the usually larger single unit. It could also be part of the shift towards a greater share of rental accommodation, again brought on because of a reluctance to take on debt.

Chart and comments provided by Oxford Economics www.oxfordeconomics.com