Home Front

A blog about the economy and the Sacramento-area real estate market.

March 17, 2009
That uptick in housing starts is not likely happening here
 There's been a slew of broadcast and print reports out today about an unexpected rise in housing starts in the U.S. in February - and if it signals a ray of hope that things are getting better.

  It's not happening here, apparently. The Construction Industry Research Board, the authority on building permits in California, doesn't have February numbers compiled yet. And frankly, I don't know where the Commerce Department gets its numbers.
I called John Orr, president and CEO of the Roseville-based North State Building Industry, and he certainly doubted there's been any February uptick here.

 "We don't have the numbers, but my guess would be we're not likely to see that kind of improvement here in the month of February," said Orr. He cited the continuing excess of new homes for sale and "a large inventory of homes running into foreclosure."

  "Right now there's not a great deal of motivation to be putting sticks into the ground," he said.

Taking a look back at January: home builders in El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties received permits to build 179 homes, a 27 percent dip from the same month in 2008. Builders in Yuba and Sutter counties got just one new-home permit, a 95 percent drop from Jan. 2008. Statewide, January home building permits were down 57 percent from the same time in 2008.


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