- by New Deal democrat
Housing permits (gold) increased slightly in January from their December lows, while the more volatile housing starts (blue) declined again. The much less volatile single family permits (red, right scale) also declined again to a new post-pandemic low:
This is a very important long leading indicator, and shows that coming misery in the economy due to housing sector is nowhere near bottoming out.
But, as I wrote on Monday, the most important metric in the entire economy right now is probably housing units under construction, which is the “real” economic impact of the industry. Here there was a very slight (less than 1%) decline from a revised peak in October:
The bottom line is that the actual *economic* downturn in housing has not begun yet.