United States: reassuring signs from the property market

Chart of the week

Building permits have continued the upward trend that started this summer, rising 5% in October to reach another cycle high. This growth trajectory concerns both the volatile multi-family and more stable single-family sectors, with the latter being the better trend indicator.

Our analysis

The increase in building permits is part of an overall improvement in the property market, which has seen a rebound in housing sales and developer confidence alike.

The housing sector appears to be benefiting from improved household purchasing power due to lower mortgage rates and a slower pace of house price rises. This is boosting both sales and construction amid persistently low housing stocks.

The property market upswing is a reassuring sign for the economy: with the exception of 2001, past recessions have always been foreshadowed by downtrends in building permits.


See also :

United-States: Fed balance sheet rebuild is not more QE


The opinion expressed above is dated 21 November 2019, and liable to change.

This document is not pre-contractual or contractual in nature. It is provided for information purposes. The analyses and descriptions contained in this document shall not be interpreted as being advice or recommendations on the part of Lazard Frères Gestion SAS. This document does not constitute an offer or invitation to purchase or sell, nor an encouragement to invest. This document is the intellectual property of Lazard Frères Gestion SAS. LAZARD FRERES GESTION – a simplified joint stock company with share capital of €14,487,500 – Paris Trade and Companies Registry No. 352 213 599. 25, RUE DE COURCELLES – 75008 PARIS, FRANCE