Housing Supported the 2002 Economy
Indicating that housing provided even greater support than expected to the U.S. economy in 2002, Commerce Department figures released recently show that builders ramped up production of new homes and apartments near the end of the year, finishing with a total of 1.7 million units.
This is the greatest housing production figure in 16 years and includes the largest number of
single-family homes built in 24 years, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), based in Washington, D.C. As a positive sign for building activity heading into the middle of 2003, issuance of housing permits in 2002 also hit its highest level since 1986.
In December, housing starts rose 5 percent to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.84 million units, with a nearly 5-percent increase on the single-family side and a 5.5-percent increase on the multi-family side. The government also revised substantially upward its previous reports on housing starts for October and November, according to the NAHB.
The latest starts numbers bring the 2002 total to 1.7 million housing units produced, including 1.36 million single-family units and 345,000 multi-family units. The single-family total is the best in 24 years, while the multi-family total is the best in four years.
Starts rose across every region in December, posting gains of 18.2 percent in the Northwest, 4 percent in the Midwest, 0.6 percent in the South and 9.8 percent in the West in comparison to November’s production pace. All regions were also up solidly for 2002 as a whole in comparison to 2001.
Monthly Housing Starts January 2002-December 2002
In structures with--
|Period||Total||1 unit||2 to 4 units||5 units
|standard error (%)|
Seasonally adjusted annual rate.
Thousands of units. Detail may not add to total because of rounding.
U.S. Factory-Built Housing Component Shipments to Grow More Than 5 Percent
Shipments of factory-built housing components from U.S. manufacturers are forecast to rise 5.2 percent per annum to $16.6 billion in 2006, according to a recent study, “Factory-Built Housing Components,” by the Freedonia Group of Cleveland. Advances in component demand will be bolstered by increased utilization of components on a “per structure” basis. Increased component penetration will in turn be supported by the advantages in cost, construction cycle time and product quality offered by the components relative to site-built construction methods. Gains in component use will be particularly strong from walls and partitions and I-joists, according to the Freedonia Group.
U.S. Factory-Built Housing Components
(figures in million dollars)
Percent of Annual Growth
|Source: © 2002 by The Freedonia Group Inc.|
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