Friday, March 20, 2009

Rates of decline, degrees of (construction sector) misery

Earlier today (here), I gave some figures from the CSO data release on planning permissions. Here is what I wrote:

"Also per CSO release, the number of dwelling units approved was down 22.4% in year to the end of Q4 2008. In Q4 2008, planning permissions were granted for 10,375 houses as opposed to 13,135 in the Q4 2007, a decrease of 21%. Only 3,392 planning permissions were granted for apartment units, compared with 4,598 in Q4 2007, a decrease of 26.2%. The total number of planning permissions granted for all developments was 8,977, as compared to 12,330 in Q4 2007, a decrease of 27.2%. Dire stuff once again. I will do the detailed analysis of the sectoral decline dynamics in a follow up to this post."

So, as promised here are some graphs illustrating the dire state of affairs in construction industry.

First chart below shows two things:
  1. Numbers of permissions granted (annual totals) for main categories of dwellings and in total - these are now clearly falling at the fastest annual rate;
  2. Total area of all construction projects applied for is also falling at the fastest rate of decline.
Now, the next chart shows total number of permissions granted per quarter. Here, the most dramatic trend is also found in 2008, most specifically in Q3 and Q4 2008, when quarterly rates of decline in total number of permissions granted were the steepest for any quarter since Q3 2000. And the rates of decline are accelerating, relative to Q1-Q2 2008.
Lastly, more detailed quarterly date below, by each broader category of permits. I also included trend lines for the period of peak-to-present contractions, showing that Q4 2008 dynamics were consistent with generally accelerating deterioration in all categories of permits, save for 'Other'. This means that we can expect this category to actually fall further and faster in months to come.
So here you have it, for construction industry - there is no bottom in sight, yet...

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