The Housing UnRecovery Is Here: Architectural Billings Plunge Most Since 2008

Tyler Durden's picture

Not only is this 'housing recovery' being built without the use of Lumber (as we explained here), but Architects are no longer useful either. The last two months - as homebuilder stocks surge and house prices spike - has seen Architectural billings plunge by the most since November 2008. The current level of activity is at its lowest since June 2012 - hardly indicative of the rampaging rapacious demand for homes that we are spoon-fed day after day...



Charts: Bloomberg

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Smegley Wanxalot's picture

another "Summer Of unRecovery" courtesy of Joe Biden and Uncle Sam

SheepDog-One's picture

Gas over $4 as well here now too...and haven't really heard a peep about it his time. I guess all the media has abandoned anything that might be 'bad for stawks'.

Rainman's picture

Gas spike right on schedule....the Thursday before Memorial Day. They just keep taunting us.

fonzannoon's picture

I'm in NY and it's $3.67. Where is it over $4 other than Kalifornia?

Dr. Engali's picture

It's $3.90 here in Indiana.

fonzannoon's picture

For regular? Or do you put high test in your maserati?

$3.90? Wow.

You guys have it all wrong. You need to move to NY. It's Utopia here right now. Money flying out of people's asses. I keep jumping but I can't catch any yet. Hopefully soon. Anyway get out here. It's great, you get a free Weiner.

Agent P's picture

Is 3.9 the price of gas, or the maximum magazine capacity you're allowed...I can never remember.

fonzannoon's picture

my magazines are GQ and Esquire.

I sincerely hope u guys know I am just fkin around.

Agent P's picture

"You need to move to NY. It's Utopia here..."

Anyone who says that is either just fkin around or a NY politician...and I didn't have you pegged as a politician. ;)

fonzannoon's picture

lol everyone in NY is a politician.

Dr. Engali's picture

Maserati...That's funny. You don't see a lot of those around where I live.  I don't recall ever seeing one the whole time I've lived here. I have seen a Lamborghini though. I think it was somebody just passing through wondering WTF they got themselves into.

Bearwagon's picture

Well, it's $7.76 over here in germany ... you are getting close ...

fonzannoon's picture

Guess who has Germany's gold? NY. It just keeps gettin better and better over here.

fonzannoon's picture

as of right now it's still the other way around.

Bastiat's picture


Well maybe they "leased" it  . . . to someone who sold it.  That's as good as gold right? 

Seriously, how do you sell (i.e. transfer title) something you don't own (it's leased, you don't have title to transfer).  Gold "leasing" is an accounting fraud on its face.

Going Loco's picture

UK average about £1.35/litre x 3.785 x 1.51 = $7.72 per US gallon

But most new cars do 50 - 70 miles per gallon now. Time to sell my car.

pavman's picture

Its $4.05 in Chicago's cheaper (e.g. subsidized) suburbs.  Its $4.15 in the richer burbs, most likely $4.30+ in the city itself.


Crook county indeed.  I never get why its so high here...RBOB is only $2.82 WTF Chuck.


Derp ... no way to delete this post :'(

glenlloyd's picture

ethanol blend (cheapest) was $3.90 in Des Moines, now $3.86. Diesel running $3.69 and some places $3.57. Been a long time since gasoline has been higher than diesel.

the one good thing about the price increase is that it stopped discussion at the state level of raising the gas tax (again).

Oldwood's picture

I hear donkey carts are really economical, but of course you have that CO2 problem to deal with. Good luck fitting that catalytic converter.

Third world regression. Bin Laden is winning.

Urban Redneck's picture

I'm paying about $6.93 for the cheap stuff in Switzerland , a hell of a lot better than the $10/gallon a few years ago (ironically pre-CHF-EUR peg).

Oleander's picture

Taxachusetts is where you oughta  be... gas is $3.48 here.  Houses are selling like silver eagles. Heating oil is $3.08.   

*The Boston Herald claims real estate is selling at record rates. The Boston suburbs should not be used to relect conditions in the rest of the state.

insanelysane's picture

Last 3 senate presidents convicted, not accused, convicted of crimes.  Lt Gov quitting suddenly.  Place is just run by psychopaths that are voted in by people who believe they are smarter than everyone else in the world.

Jumbotron's picture


LOL...I thought all that Shale Oil in the Dakota's was going to help bring down fuel prices......but look how "HOT" they are up there.

LOL !!!!!!   It's not about supply's all about the cost of extracting that dirty shit with expensive techniques.  Frack this....suckaz !

Jumbotron's picture

Not to mention this stupid, smirking spokes-bitch for the shale oil and natural gas cabal touting all the high paying jobs......

Sure....but I bet you DID NOT KNOW Dakotans, is that the oil and natural gas crowd were going to suck away a large portion of your "good paying jobs" income in increased fuel and energy prices because of your energys demands in driving to work, using the heavy diesel equipment, keeping the lights on 24/7 and all the Wal-Marts and stores downtown because there are SO MANY of you rushing to get to the OIL BOOM.....not to mention all the heavy equipment needed to put down petrolium based asphalt to build new roads much less fix the ones you guys are destroying ever more quickly than before.

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction....sometimes worse.

Consequences are a bitch.

Agent P's picture

Illinois (not Chicago).  Technically it's not $4, but $3.999 is close enough for government work.

pavman's picture

Its $4.05 in Chicago's cheaper (e.g. subsidized) suburbs.  Its $4.15 in the richer burbs, most likely $4.30+ in the city itself.


Crook county indeed.  I never get why its so high here...RBOB is only $2.82 WTF Chuck.

Its Only Rock N Roll's picture

$4.19 in Chicago suburbs.  $4.49 if you venture into the city. 

TahoeBilly2012's picture

$4.50 in Tahoe, but worth every penny!

TheEdelman's picture

In OC over 4/gal.  Its great right now too.  Brand new bentleys, maseratis, lambos, ferraris, porshe cayennes (wives drive these ones)...  all over the roads. Its 2005 all over again.  

TheEdelman's picture

except this time..maybe... the richies may be just trying to use up whatever fiat they can??? 


Tombstone's picture

It's basically $3.79-3.99 in MI, OH, IN.

smlbizman's picture

maybe they are using less qualified firms that charge a lot castanza and assc.....

Headbanger's picture

Architectural Billings Index web site:

The ABI serves as a leading economic indicator that leads nonresidential construction activity by approximately 9-12 months. The indexes are developed from the monthly Work-on-the-Boards survey panel where participants are asked whether their billings increased, decreased, or stayed the same in the month that just ended. According to the proportion of respondents choosing each option, a score is generated, which represents an index value for each month.

So this index is for non-residetial buildings. Unfrtuantely it is not a measure of the dollar value nor number of projects billed but only the number of architects seeing more, less or the same activity.

pavman's picture

That's because, technically, you don't need an architect to build a house.  It doesn't hurt tho.  Architects are only required for buildings used by the public (e.g. pretty much everything but a house, shed, barn, and such).  Dam monopolists!

saltine's picture

I'm a successful architect in the Maryland suburbs of DC. I'm a sole practioner and do small scale corporate and commercial work, mostly office space, computer rooms, labs and other techincal spaces. I've been in the profession for 40 years and in business for 25 years+. Business is not dead-in-the-water but its close. Current conditions are on par with 1973/4, 1991, 2001 and 2008/9. I'm starting to get calls from general contractor's looking for work which means (if they are starting to call small shops like mine) their backlog is drying up. Of course this eventually will affect the GC's subcontractors and material suppliers. 

JayKitsap's picture

I'm a structural engineer near Seattle.  I've done the structural on 3 houses > $10M.  The last $1M or higher house I did was 08.  I did the structural on 0 Architect designed houses in 12, but 2 already this year.  Only did 4 houses total each in 11 & 12, done 5 new houses this year.  Commercial construction has fully tanked, one builder I do work for (he either uses me or a designer vs Archi for most of the design) had 70 jobs open on the books in 2009, now has 7 foremen in a couple of crews.

Now the Navy work I do is also drying up as that was the first thing cut with the sequester.  In some ways it is worse than 2008-9 as there was a backlog then and not all jobs died.  Now all the backlog is gone and nobody really wants to invest - I wouldn't either.

I think 81 in Detroit and 85 in Denver were steeper potholes, but there was a climb out.  Within months the new jobs recovered.  Now I wonder if it ever will.  What happens when interest rates go up a couple of %.  

insanelysane's picture

I thought Joe was hyper focused on gun control?

Where has he been lately?

Bobbyrib's picture

I couldn't take that rambling imbecile long enough to see how he insulted the Chinese.

auntiesocial's picture

It gets worse. Supply and Demand do not dictate an honest fair market value in many if not all major markets. The banks are holding back properties, I mean a freaking boatload, not just a handful, and if they were all released onto the market to give people a real market value, the over inflated prices that are held together by the neglect of reporting reo's, fc's would a come a tumblin' down. Which they should. But this ain't real capitalism at play now is it?

Smuckers's picture

...Cause you don't need an architect to build a tent.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

The offset here is a huge increased demand for corrugate manufacturers.

krispkritter's picture

Slowdown in housing means fewer refrigerator boxes to house the homeless.  Vicious circle...

SamAdams's picture

We don't need no steenkeen permits to build a tent gringo....

Tombstone's picture

Caves are in high demand.