Two new graphics from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis show how residential building permits are faring in the slow recovery:
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:
It could be worse. Check out the data for Phoenix, epicenter of overbuilding and the housing crash:
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.
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Today’s Econ Haiku:
The start button’s back
Microsoft will move faster