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NJ Housing Approvals Up In November


by Patrick J. O'Keefe, Director of Economic Research

View accompanying chartbook.

New Jersey’s homebuilders obtained 1,784 building permits (i.e., authorizations to undertake construction) in November, partially reversing the prior month’s decline. 

Month-on-month: Total authorizations rose 12.3% as multifamily approvals, which are notoriously volatile [Chart 10], rose 58.7% and partially reversed October’s drop, which was the largest one-month percentage decline since February 2013. 

Single-family approvals declined for the second consecutive month and the pace of retrenchment accelerated to 16.6% (compared to 8.1% in October). [Chart 6]

Year-to-Date: Over the course of 2014’s first 11 months, residential authorizations in New Jersey exceed every year since 2005. 

Year-to-date approvals totaled 25,451 units, 14.8% more than 2013’s comparable period. 

Despite the recent deceleration of multifamily approvals, attached dwellings still accounted for four-fifths (80.5%) of year-to-date increase. 

Multifamily authorizations have accounted for 59.9% of this year’s approvals.  But the share has declined steadily since July’s 63.0%, which was highest monthly proportion in records dating from 1988.

Single-family approvals during the year’s first 10 months totaled 10,206 units, 6.7% more than the comparable period in 2013. 

Adjusted data: Permit data (especially multifamily authorizations) tend to be volatile and, like many economic indicators, vary seasonally. 

Adjusting for those factors – by using a three-month moving average of seasonally adjusted data – approvals were down in the most recent three-month period.

Single-family approvals, adjusted for seasonal fluctuations, were relatively stable (+2.2%) after sharply fluctuating during the prior three months; but the reversal was incomplete and, for only the second time since 2007, the seasonally adjusted three-month single-family average remained above 900 for a third consecutive month.   

The statements, opinions, and conclusions contained herein are based solely upon the author’s own studies, research, and personal experience. Neither CohnReznick nor the author make any representation or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. CohnReznick and the author expressly disclaim any liability for any loss or damage which may be incurred, of any kind whatsoever, as a result of or arising from the use of any of the information contained herein or reliance on the accuracy or completeness of it.

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