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May 23, 1938

Residential Construction
The Bureau of Labor Statistics residential
building permits figures for April indicate an increase
of 10.8 per cent over March of this year but a decrease
of around 32 per cent from April 1937* The attached
chart shows the extent to which April of last year represented the peak in residential construction with a
drop of almost 30 per cent in the following month*
Applications for insurance in our field offices are averaging as high in the first three weeks of May this year
as the peak weeks in April, and the percentage of these
each week representing homes to be constructed is still
around 53 per cent.
Employment in the residential construction
field as indicated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics
series showed an increase in April of 5ยป8 per cent over
March and a decrease of approximately 25 per cent from
April 1937.
Many business series are showing slight upward
trends in May as compared with April, end our own series
on mortgage insurance do not indicate that the seasonal
spring peak in building this year is in a declining phase.