Single-family building permits slide in April
Privately‐owned housing units authorized by building permits in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,819,000, - 3.2% below the revised March rate of 1,879,000, but +3.1% above the April 2021 rate of 1,765,000. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, single‐ family authorizations in April were at a rate of 1,110,000, - 4.6% below the revised March figure of 1,163,000.
Architects say billings slowed down in April
AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for April dropped to 56.5 points, down -1.5 points from 58 points in March. Any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings. During April, scores for both new project inquiries and design contracts moderated slightly, but remained strong, posting scores of 62.3 points and 55.4 points, respectively. Published monthly by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the ABI is a popular leading indicator of construction activity.
“While business conditions at architecture firms have been very encouraging over the past year, project activity has been steadily shifting toward work on existing buildings,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker in the press release. “Billings for reconstruction projects exceeded those for new construction for the first time in the last two decades. While the reconstruction share of building activity will continue to ebb and flow, in general, we’ll continue to move toward an increased share of building activity for reconstruction and a decreased share for new construction.”
New home sales dip dramatically in April
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), said in a press release that in a further sign of a housing slowdown, new home sales posted a double-digit percentage decline in April, falling to their weakest pace in two years, as rising mortgage interest rates and worsening affordability conditions continue to take a toll on the housing market. Sales of newly built, single-family homes in April fell 16.6% to a 591,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate from a downwardly revised reading in March, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. NAHB said higher construction costs and limited existing home inventory are pricing many potential home buyers out of the market.