by Bill McBride on 10/19/2005 01:15:00 PM
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
The Census Bureau reports(PDF):
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2,189,000. This is 2.4 percent (±0.8%) above the revised August rate of 2,138,000 and is 7.4 percent (±1.1%) above the September 2004 estimate of 2,039,000.HOUSING STARTS:
Privately-owned housing starts in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2,108,000. This is 3.4 percent (±6.3%)* above the revised August estimate of 2,038,000 and is 10.3 percent (±7.2%) above the September 2004 rate of 1,912,000.HOUSING COMPLETIONS:
Privately-owned housing completions in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,979,000. This is 3.2 percent (±7.9%)* above the revised August estimate of 1,917,000 and is 10.9 percent (±8.8%) above the September 2004 rate of 1,784,000.The Mortgage Bankers Associations (MBA) reports:
The Market Composite Index — a measure of mortgage loan application volume – was 737.5, an increase of 6.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from 694.8, one week earlier. This measure includes an adjustment to offset the effects of Columbus Day on application activity. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 4.4 percent compared with the previous week but was up 3.7 percent compared with the same week one year earlier.Thirty year mortgage rates rose to 6.09% from 5.98% the previous week.
The seasonally-adjusted Purchase Index increased by 7.3 percent to 503.9 from 469.5 the previous week whereas the Refinance Index increased by 4.5 percent to 2095.7 from 2004.9 one week earlier.
A couple of comments: Permits are inexpensive and therefore a poor indicator. New and Existing Home Sales has historically been much better indicators for the housing market. In the previous housing busts, 'Starts' stayed strong right into the slow down and the excess inventory led to many builders going bankrupt. Usually 'Starts' is a trailing indicator for the housing market.
The mortgage application data from the MBA shows activity is still strong and indicates that housing hasn't fallen off a cliff - yet.
Posted by Bill McBride on 10/19/2005 01:15:00 PM