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Metropolitan Area New Residential Construction
Decision-Making Information
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September 2016. Understanding the housing situation; examining housing supply and demand market conditions; assessing trends for metropolitan areas ... and how metros of interest are changing.

Updated monthly, this section provides a monthly summary of new housing units authorized by building permits for new residential construction for each metropolitan statistical area (MSA). Use data analytics tools and data described here analyze these data and related housing issues.
  • interactive data analytics - below in this section
  • use GIS project/datasets - below in this section
  • time-series detailed drill-down profile updated monthly; examples:
      Atlanta . Chicago . Dallas . Houston . Los Angeles

Related Residential Construction & Housing Sections
  • Metro Situation & Outlook Reports
      .. metro by metro ... examples: Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta.
  • County Annual U.S. by county
  • County & City/Place Monthly

Patterns of New Authorized Residential Units by Metropolitan Area
The following graphic shows value of single unit structures units authorized (12/15) by metro. Larger view shows more details including a mini-profile of 12/15 housing units authorized detail. See about subject matter included in datasets.

View created with CV XE GIS. Click graphic for larger view.

Leading Economic Indicator
Building permit data (housing units authorized by building permits for new residential construction) are economic leading indicators. Investors and housing developers use these data to examine the characteristics and trends in new residential housing development. The short time lag between the data reference date and data access date, 1-2 months, makes this set of indicators important in assessing the current situation and patterns during the past year or more. The national scope coverage and geographic granularity (state, metro, county and city) enable comparison among types of areas and peer groups. Finance and real estate professional and researchers examine building permit patterns to develop strategic insights. Government and policy makers use these data to get a pulse on markets and changing patterns to administer programs and operations. See more about these data below in this section.

New residential construction begins with building permits. Overall U.S. housing starts are approximately 2.5% less than permits issued (22.5% less for multi-family units). Completions are approximately 4% less than starts (7.5% less for multi-family units). During the past year-plus, "residential fixed investment" has been approximately $500 billion and remained steady at 3.1% of real Gross Domestic Product.

New Authorized Residential Construction by Metropolitan Area -- Interactive Table
  Click ShowAll button between Find/Queries. See usage notes below table.
  Use mouseover on column header to view column description.
  See related interactive tables.


Usage Notes
The interactive table includes one row for each metropolitan area for each year/month for the 12 months ending with the most current month for which data are available. Where month is 99 (example 1699 for 2016) the data in the row are for the year-to-date January through most recent month reported. The initial sort order is all metros sorted by CBSA code then on each year/month. To select one month for all metros, click the ShowAll button then select the month of interest using the Yr/Mth dropdown below the table. Then optionally sort on a subject matter column of interest.
-- Click ShowAll button between specific area queries.

Subject Matter Items for each Month
  ITEMFieldName
Total UnitsUMMYY1
  1 unit StructuresUMMYY2
  2 unit StructuresUMMYY3
  3-4 unit structuresUMMYY4
  5+ unit structuresUMMYY5
  Structures with 5+ UnitsUMMYY6
%Metro CoverageUMMYY7
Value ($000) Total UnitsVMMYY1
  Value 1 unit structuresVMMYY2
  Value 2 unit structuresVMMYY3
  Value 3-4 unit structuresVMMYY4
  Value 5+ unit structuresVMMYY5
where MM=month; YY=year

Download Houston metro sample (xls)

Housing Units Authorized (HUA) GIS Project & Datasets (requires Windows computer with Internet connection)
Use the U.S. by Metropolitan Area Housing Units Authorized (HUA) GIS project to create thematic pattern views similar to the one shown above. Zoom-in to any metro/region. Add your own data; change colors, labeling, subject matter used for pattern analysis. Follow these steps to get started.

1. Install the ProximityOne CV XE GIS
... run the CV XE GIS installer
... take all defaults during installation
2. Download the HUA GIS project fileset
... requires ProximityOne User Group ID (join now)
... unzip HUA GIS project files to local folder c:\bp
3. Open the c:\bp\bp1.gis project
... after completing the above steps, click File>Open>Dialog
... open the file named c:\bp\bp1.gis
4. Done. U.S. by metro thematic pattern view appears.

Join us in the Data Analytics Lab sessions to learn more about using this GIS project, subject matter and related analyses.

About these Data
New authorized residential construction monthly time series data enables analysts to examine trends and can provide insights into business cycles, upturns and downturns. It may take four months to establish an underlying trend for building permit authorizations, five months for total starts and six months for total completions. The limitation of the building permits data is that they are neither housing starts or completions. Housing starts and completions data are not available with the same geographic granularity as building permits nor do they have the same recent estimates and monthly time series features of building permits.

What about starts and completions? See about the related Survey of Construction and data tabnulated on housing starts, completions and sales. The low level geography for these data is Census region.

Data on construction authorized by building permits are based upon reports submitted by local building permit officials in response to a mail survey. They are obtained using Form C-404, "Report of Building or Zoning Permits Issued and Local Public Construction."

Single Family Houses - Includes all detached one-family houses. Also includes all attached one-family houses separated by a wall that extends from ground to roof with no common heating system or interstructural public utilities. Includes prefabricated, sectionalized, panelized, and modular homes which are manufactured partially off-site, but which are transported and assembled at the construction site. Excludes mobile homes.

Two-Family Buildings - Includes all buildings containing two housing units which may be one above the other or side-by-side. If built side-by-side, they (1) do not have a wall that extends from ground to roof or (2) share a heating system, or (3) have interstructural public utilities such as water supply/sewage disposal.

Three- and Four-Family Buildings - Includes all buildings containing three or four housing units. If built side-by-side, they (1) do not have a wall that extends from ground to roof, or (2) share a heating system, or (3) have interstructural public utilities such as water supply/sewage disposal.

Five-or-More Family Buildings - Includes all buildings containing five or more housing units. If built side-by-side, they (1) do not have a wall that extends from ground to roof, or (2) share a heating system, or (3) have interstructural public utilities such as water supply/sewage disposal.

ProximityOne User Group
Join the ProximityOne User Group to keep up-to-date with new developments relating to metros and component geography decision-making information resources. Receive updates and access to tools and resources available only to members. Use this form to join the User Group.

Support Using these Resources
Learn more about accessing and using demographic-economic data and related analytical tools. Join us in a Data Analytics Lab session. There is no fee for these one-hour Web sessions. Each informal session is focused on a specific topic. The open structure also provides for Q&A and discussion of application issues of interest to participants.

Additional Information
ProximityOne develops geodemographic-economic data and analytical tools and helps organizations knit together and use diverse data in a decision-making and analytical framework. We develop custom demographic/economic estimates and projections, develop geographic and geocoded address files, and assist with impact and geospatial analyses. Wide-ranging organizations use our tools (software, data, methodologies) to analyze their own data integrated with other data. Follow ProximityOne on Twitter at www.twitter.com/proximityone. Contact us (888-364-7656) with questions about data covered in this section or to discuss custom estimates, projections or analyses for your areas of interest.


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