The number of housing units permitted in California was up in May, both over the year and from the preceding month.
For the first 5 months of2000, the total number of units was ahead 5.9%, with most of the strengthin the multi-family sector. There was a similar pattern in Los AngelesCounty. However, its 5- month total was ahead of last year by 34.2%.Again, most of the punch came from the apartment sector. The Riverside-SanBernardino area was also up over the year and month in May, with the5-month total running 10.2% ahead of last year. And this area is leadingthe state in total units permitted so far. Single family permits were uponly 2.4%, with the strength again in apartments. It was a different picture in San Diego County, where total permitswere down over the month and year. In fact, the 5-month permit totallagged 1999 by 12.4%, with weakness in both singles and apartments. InOrange County, permits climbed from April to May, but the latter was off alittle from May 1999. For the first 5 months of 2000, Orange County wasbehind last year's total by 4.1%. Housing unit permits in Ventura Countywere down over both the month and year. Its 5-month permit total was 18.9%below the 1999 count. To the north, the San Francisco metro area's May housing permit totalwas up over the year, but its 5-month total was 28.2% behind 1999. The Maypermit count in San Jose was flat from April to May, and was down from ayear ago. However, for the first 5 months of 2000, the area was running17.4% ahead of last year. The state's homebuilders are on the horns of a dilemma. With agrowing population, there is plenty of demand. But with recent interestrate increases, will homebuyers start to hold back? Also, the developmentprocess is still costly and time consuming. No fun.
Thanks to Chris Steins
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