Housing Starts, Permits Unimpressive, Saved By "South" Surge

Tyler Durden's picture

There was little excitement in today's November housing starts and permits numbers, the first of which missed expectations of 872K modestly, and was down from 894K to 861K on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis (64.6K unadjusted, non-annualized, the lowest since March; the Northeast unadjusted print was 25% lower than a year ago!). The prior two months were also revised lower from from 863K and 894K to 843K and 888K. On the other hand, permits which are nothing more than an opportunity cost fee for an application filed with the local housing office, rose from 868K to 899K. Curiously enough, this was the one series that was supposed to benefit from Sandy, as builders would step up reconstruction efforts in the hurricane impact areas. Alas, that did not happen, in the impacted Northeast Region, as both Starts (73K) and Permits (76K) came at multi month lows (in the case of permits, this was the lowest print of all of 2012). What did drive housing starts and permits? The "South" where both categories saw the respective data prints jump to the highest since 2008. The same south which was promptly featured in our "Interactive Guide to the Housing Recovery." The housing bubble is back in full force.

Chart showing housing starts and completions with a 6 month lag:

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CPL's picture

Look at all the house, singular, being built.

Sandy15's picture

Bad news in reports, blame Sandy.  Good news in reports, Sandy gets credit.  Why wouldn't more permits be applied for in NJ and NY for rebuild after Sandy?  Truth is, the houseing market sucks and they would be better off NOT rebuilding many of those homes.

GMadScientist's picture

Two reasons:

1) because who's gonna wait for a permit when it's raining in the living room if you just need repairs

2) because you can't rebuild until the insurance pays out...don't hold your breath

ptoemmes's picture

Yeah, and I suspect mant of those poor people had flood damage and - wait for it - NO flood insurance.  

spastic_colon's picture

or housing bad = Sandy


housing good = obummer

CPL's picture

Well, considering insurance hasn't paid out a dime to anyone except to stay in Hotels.  The builders are a little over zealous.  Agreed though.  Next year, now that the hurricanes are starting to find their way to the "eastern" seaboard it's only a general assumption that the coastline of the area will be insurable again unless they start building on stilts.

Cursive's picture

Whoop!  Whoop!  The South will rise again!  Bo and Luke Duke!  Boss Hog!  Let's make donuts in the General Lee!  Give me a break.  I believe this like Honey Boo Boo will be studying marine Biology at Georgia Tech in 12-15 years.

Water Is Wet's picture

Honey Boo Boo might be studying Marine biology in the champagne room of a titty bar in 12-15 years.

AynRandFan's picture

The south is a damn fine place to live, especially compared to the overcrowded, mean-spirited, unaffordable and dependent land of Laverne and Shirley. 

RiverRoad's picture

Don't know personally about the rest of the South, but building is definitely on the upswing in the Boca Raton, FL area.

Lednbrass's picture

Unfortunately the South is suffering from a a large influx of scum from points north.

JustObserving's picture

Silver getting hammered as usual.  All the silver bullion in the world worth $31.25 billion (a billion ounces) while Bernanke prints $85 billion a month (starting January) and US debts and unfunded liabilities rise $23 billion a day.

Now central banksters have the power to create their own reality - where real money like gold and silver get cheaper everyday.


LongSoupLine's picture

Housing numbers must be bad when ES ramp pauses for 4 whole fucking minutes....pure fucking panic.

Spider's picture

Fed buying will keep prices stable - you have to be crazy to think prices will go significantly lower with $40 billion / month in artificial Fed demand - thats A LOT of money being poured in.  The only thing that will derail this is if interest rates start to rise...

GrinandBearit's picture

I keep in touch with few realtors in So Cal.  They tell me that flippers have once again become very active in the So Cal housing market.  Some areas of San Diego have already come back to their 2005-06 peak price.  

It would seem that the sheeple have very short memories.  There seems to be a never ending supply of suckers, especially in Cali.

blunderdog's picture

Houses are cheaper in some of the Southern states, and it's gotta be nice to save on heating costs.  Maybe broke people are downsizing expenses to adapt to the ongoing depression we're calling the "new normal"?

AynRandFan's picture


This 50-yr chart ends at the unrevised 894k (now 888k), while today's number is 861k.  Regardless, it shows we are still below the BOTTOM of the chart for the last 50 years.  So, when you hear "path to recovery" think "bullshit artist".

moneybots's picture

The chart does not look like any bubble is back in force.  It is a nice bounce off the bottom, but after the DOW fell 90%, where did a doubling of the DOW place it in relation to the 1929 high?

A co-worker just bought a house in foreclosure in San Bernadino for 1/4 what it was worth. That does not sound like a housing bubble being back in force.

moneybots's picture

"The only thing that will derail this is if interest rates start to rise..."


Nothing occurs in a vacuum.  That's the catch 22. 

The Hunt brothers tried to corner the silver market.  The FED is trying to corner the bond market.  Every bubble bursts.  Math says so.  The question is always when, not if.

denny69's picture

Rentals drove everything.