Confidence among U.S. homebuilders is at its highest level in nearly eight years, fueled by optimism that demand for new homes will drive sales growth into next year.
The brighter sales outlook is the latest sign pointing to a sustained pickup in construction in coming months and comes as applications for permits to build single-family houses are at a five-year high.
These sorts of things are often considered to be “contrarian indicators,” that is, as signs of peaks rather than bottoms.
Given that this “five year high in permit applications” is still quite anemic.
For instance, permit applications peaked in September of 2005 at 2263. Of these, 1,798 were for single family homes, 88 for 2-4 unit buildings, and 377 for 5 or more units. The latter two groups are obviously permits issued for apartment buildings.
In June of 2013, comparable figures are 918, 625, 26, and 267. Also note the much higher current ratio of apartment buildings to single family homes. (http://www.census.gov/construction/pdf/bpsa.pdf)
These are not very good figures, despite all the “housing crisis is over” cheerleadiing from Obama supporters.