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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

June 27, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Housing permits seek a new normal, in charts

Two new graphics from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis show how residential building permits are faring in the slow recovery:

WAfredgraph

Seattle

In the aftermath of the housing crash, Washington permits have a long way to go before they reach their old peaks. Note the severity of the falloff during the Great Recession compared with other recessions (marked in grey). For Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, the improvement is slightly more pronounced. Even so, it remains weak.

When we narrow the permits down to one-unit homes for the metro, the decline and slow rebound is even more steep:

Seattle1unit

It could be worse. Check out the data for Phoenix, epicenter of overbuilding and the housing crash:

Phoenix

The lesson is that even though house sales and prices are rebounding, we’re a long way from the old normal, where housing was the last big factory work for so many Americans.

And Don’t Miss: The most famous brand for every state | The Atlantic

Today’s Econ Haiku:

The start button’s back

Microsoft will move faster

Supertankers, too

Comments | More in Housing | Topics: Housing, Seattle, Washington state

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