A decrease in the number of new single-family construction projects nationally is being looked at by some analysts as an indicator of a larger overall economic slowdown later this year.
According to statistics compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau, single-family projects declined by just over 4.2 percent in February, marking the third month in a row that construction has been off in this sector.
Overall, notes the site BuildFax, which specializes in property data collection, single-family construction dropped by more than 5.7 percent from 2017 to 2018.
Predictions of a national economic decline have already been aired by a Reuters poll of economists in January forecasting a 25 percent chance for a recession between early 2019 and early 2020.
The poll also revealed that the same group of economists calculated the likelihood of a recession between now and 2021 at 40 percent.
The drop in single-family projects, says the Austin-based BuildFax, also comes as builders are noticing a 10 percent decline in remodeling projects, along with a 5.5 percent drop in home housing maintenance work.
Despite such troubling statistics, a new report just released by the Washington-based National Association of Homebuilders indicates that builder confidence in the single-family market is holding steady.
A survey conducted by the group showed respondents feeling bullish about the imminent spring home buying market, compiling an overall 62 index, with scores over 50 indicating that builders regard conditions as more positive than negative.
The highest industry scores were recorded in the West at 69, followed by the South at 66, the Midwest with 51, and the Northeast at 48.
By Garry Boulard
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