California housing collapse deepens
February 23, 2012
• New-home starts fall in January
• ‘It’s definitely a bit disappointing’
California’s new-home homebuilders pulled permits for fewer new single-family and multifamily homes in January when compared to December 2011 and when compared to January 2011, the California Building Industry Association says Thursday.
According to statistics compiled by the Construction Industry Research Board, permits were pulled for 2,353 total housing units in January, down 18 percent from the same month a year ago and down 57 percent from December.
Permits for single-family homes totaled 1,478, down 15 percent from January 2011 and down 25 percent from the previous month, while multifamily permits totaled 875, down 23 percent from a year ago and down 75 percent from December.
Mike Winn, CBIA’s president and CEO, says that it was a disappointing start but adds that he remains optimistic about the remainder of the year.
“We seemed to be gaining some momentum with year-over-year increases over the last half of 2011 so it’s definitely a bit disappointing to see these numbers heading into the new year,” says Mr. Winn. “However, the mood seems to be a bit more positive among builders and we expect to see better numbers than last year as we slowly continue to recover.”
Ben Bartolotto, Research Director for CIRB, says that January figures are typically uninformative with regard to the year as a whole and that there is usually a significant drop from December to January due to a rush to pull permits before new state or local code changes take effect.
CIRB is projecting 57,000 total permits will be pulled in 2012, a 21 percent increase from 2011’s total of 47,147 permits, but still down from 2008’s total of 64,962.