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Table 9.-New privately financed dwelling units started in urban areas: By geographic division, by type of structure, by month, January 1946-March 1947
1 Monthly structural distribution by divisions may not add to correct total of all types of structures due to rounding. Data for 1946 have not been adjusted for lapsed building permits and for lag between issuance of permit and actual start of construction. Less than 51 units.
Source: U. S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
they were obtained and for abnormal delays between permit issuance and the start of construction. Special field surveys were conducted during this period by BLS to develop such lapse and lag figures for use in adjusting the estimates. These have been applied as noted in the footnotes to specific tables. These factors were not used prior to 1945.
Estimation of Homebuilding in Rural Nonfarm Areas
Between 1940 and 1945 the rural nonfarm portion of the national estimate of housing starts was derived from benchmark estimates made for each geographic division of the country for the last quarter of 1939, based on an analysis of 1940 housing census data, the Defense Housing Surveys and related information.
Building-permit reports were received monthly from about 1,600 rural nonfarm places, of which all but 75 were incorporated. From these data the ratio of units reported in rural nonfarm places for the current quarter to units reported in the identical places for the preceding quarter was
The abnormal conditions under which the residential construction industry has operated in 1945 and 1946 has made it desirable to introduce some modification in the usual estimating procedure to account for the nonuse of permits after Table 10.-New privately financed nonfarm dwelling units started1 in 29 industrial areas: By month, January 1946-December 1946
I See footnote 2, on p. 13.
Includes all privately financed new dwelling units; excludes trailers, dormitory units, barracks, and converted units.
The ratio of the urban estimate for the current quarter to the estimate for the preceding quarter was also computed. The estimate for the current quarter was then obtained from these two relationships and this quarterly estimate distributed among the months according to the urban estimate.
In 1946, BLS undertook a continuing field study of all residential construction in 90 representative areas. These studies made it possible to improve the basis for estimating the rural nonfarm component of the total estimate of nonfarm residential construction by providing more representative coverage of the nonpermit areas. The areas include 29 large industrial areas, 30 small urban areas, and 31 rural nonfarm areas. These combined areas encompass about 3,000 individual non-permit-issuing places and together represent 46 percent of the total nonfarm population.
The 90 area studies are used to produce factors reflecting the relationship between urban and rural nonfarm activity; the estimate of rural nonfarm starts is derived by applying this factor to the total urban estimate previously described.
Housing activity in the rural nonfarm portion of the 90 areas is measured by following up the building permits issued to determine actual start of construction in permit-issuing places and by field surveys in non-permit-issuing places. The surveys are carried on by field workers of the BLS who interview contractors, architects, assessors, lending institutions, building materials dealers and others to determine where and when dwelling units are placed under construction. The result is a comprehensive canvass of housing starts in the rural nonfarm part of the 90 representative areas. BLS National and Regional Estimates
Tables 1 through 4 present estimates of privately financed nonfarm dwelling units scheduled to be started in the country as a whole. These tables include all published BLS national estimates. Tables 5 through 9 present the BLS estimates of privately financed nonfarm residential construction scheduled to be started in the nine Bureau of the Census geographic divisions.2
2 Note that, in all tables showing data by type of structure, a one-family structure with store attached is counted as a two-family structure.
Table 11.-New privately financed nonfarm dwelling units started1 in 30 urban areas: By month, January 1946
1 Includes all privately financed new dwelling units; excludes trailers, dormitory units, barracks, and converted units. * Includes the entire county.
Source: U. S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Dollar Volume of Residential Construction
This chapter concerns itself chiefly with new privately financed residential construction. Its purpose is to present the various sets of data which measure the volume of such construction in monetary terms.
The official Government source of such statistics is the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As is the case with its data on the number of privately financed dwelling units started, BLS compiles its dollar volume estimates from reports of building permits issued and supplementary field studies. The reader is referred to chapter I for the details of the basic field procedure, since the same general considerations apply here.
Because no single series will suffice for presentday analysis, the Bureau of Labor Statistics prepares three distinct bodies of data relating to residential dollar volume. The first reflects, for each month, the aggregate value of permits issued during the month. The second adjusts these data upward to account for the understatement, of costs which characterizes building permit figures; this body of data therefore attempts to show for each month, the aggregate cost that will be incurred for all the dwelling units started during the month. Finally, the third series estimates, for each month, the value of work put in place for all work under construction, regardless of when it was started. Each series is discussed below.
The first two series, it will be seen, are advance indicators of coming construction expenditures, while the third reflects construction at the time it occurs. Used in conjunction with figures on the number of units started, the first two series provide ratios reflecting average permit value and average total cost per unit. The put-in-place series is correlative with on-site employment and consumption of building materials.
The F. W. Dodge Corp. likewise compiles a series on the dollar volume of residential construction contracts awarded in the 37 States east of the Rocky Mountains. This series is discussed in more detail later in this chapter.
BLS Series on Value of Building Permits Issued
Tables 12 and 13 present data on the value of building permits issued, the figures reflecting the builder's statement of expected construction costs as shown on the building permit.
The bureau has developed a continuous series for a fixed group of 257 cities which have reported data since 1921. Permit valuations obtained from permits issued in these cities are shown, by year, from 1921 through 1945 in table 12. Although this series includes cities in all parts of the country, the heaviest representation is from the Northeastern and Midwestern States. Obviously, since this is not a representative sample, the use of these data is limited.