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BRIEFCASE

REAL ESTATE : Indicators Point to Slight Improvement After Housing Industry's 4-Year Slide

January 05, 1994|John O'Dell, Times staff writer

Welcome to 1994--the final year, if the pundits have it right, of a record four-year slump in Orange County's housing industry.

The numbers started looking a little less anemic and a little more positive early last fall with statisticians who track resales, new-home sales and sales-price trends all telling us that the month-to-month and year-to-year changes were mostly increases and, though small, were sustained.

Things still are a long, long way from the boom times of the 1980s, but at least, conventional wisdom has it, they get better every month.

One of the most recent reports, from the Construction Industry Research Board, shows that in November--typically a pretty slow month--new-home builders in the county obtained permits for 349 single-family homes.

That's the highest November rate since 1989 and the eighth month of 1993 in which the number of single-family permits exceed the same month in 1992.

For the first 11 months of 1993, the Burbank-based research board reported, builders in Orange County pulled permits for 3,963 single-family homes, up 19% from the first 11 months of 1992 and the highest January-through-November tally since 1989.

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