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Aug 3 -- The Census Bureau, Department of Commerce, invites comments by October 2, 2023 regarding the extension of the Survey of Housing Starts, Sales, and Completions for three more years.

The U.S. Census Bureau plans to request a three-year extension of the current Office of Management and Budget (OMB) clearance of the Survey of Housing Starts, Sales and Completions, also known as the Survey of Construction (SOC). The SOC collects monthly data on new residential construction from a sample of owners or builders. The Census Bureau uses the Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) electronic questionnaires SOC–QI/SF.1 and SOC–QI/MF.1 to collect data on start and completion dates of construction, physical characteristics of the structure (floor area, number of bathrooms, type of heating system, etc), and if applicable, date of sale, sales price, and type of financing. The SOC provides widely used measures of construction activity, including the economic indicators Housing Starts and Housing Completions, which are from the New Residential Construction series, and New Residential Sales. The current clearance for this survey is scheduled to expire on March 31, 2024.

We sample approximately 1,780 new buildings each month (approximately 21,363 per year). We inquire about the progress of each building multiple times until it is completed (and a sales contract is signed, if it is a single-family house that is built for sale). For single-family buildings, we conduct an average of 8.2 interviews and for multifamily buildings, we conduct an average of 6.4 interviews. The total number of interviews conducted from 2020 through 2022 was averaged and for single-family buildings is approximately 112,471 annually and for multifamily buildings is about 48,941 annually. Each interview takes 5 minutes on average.
 
SOC: https://www.census.gov/construction/nrc/index.html
Draft data collection instruments and technical documentation available at https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/aaac0nsl6kw0z4t7jlj0j/fwdrafticrrequestsurveyofhousingstartssalesand.zip?rlkey=z6e49uanqe95896v0de9dnw8m&dl=0
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-16584

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