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Notice

Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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DOC has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

Agency: U.S. Census Bureau.

Title: Survey of Housing Starts, Sales, and Completions.

Form Number(s): SOC-Q1/SF.1; SOC-Q1/MF.1.

Agency Approval Number: 0607-0110.

Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Burden: 14,688 hours.

Number of Respondents: 28,200.

Avg Hours Per Response: 5 minutes.

Needs and Uses: The U.S. Census Bureau is requesting an extension of the currently approved collection for the Survey of Housing Starts, Sales, and Completions, otherwise known as the Survey of Construction (SOC). Government agencies and private companies use statistics from SOC to monitor and evaluate the large and dynamic housing construction industry. Data for two principal economic indicators are produced from the SOC: New Residential Construction (housing starts and housing completions) and New Residential Sales. In addition, a number of other statistical series are produced, including extensive information on the physical characteristics of new residential buildings, and indexes measuring rates of inflation in the price of new buildings. These statistics are based on a sample of residential buildings in permit-issuing places and a road canvass in a sample of land areas not covered by building permit systems.

The field representatives (FRs) mail forms SOC-QI/SF.1 and SOC-QI/MF.1 to the respondents to complete. A few days later, the FRs either call or visit the respondents to enter their survey responses into a laptop computer using the Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) software formatted for the SOC-QI/SF.1 and SOC-QI/MF.1 forms. The respondents are homebuilders, real estate agents, rental agents, or new homeowners of sampled residential buildings. FR's contact respondents multiple times based on the number of projects in the sample and the number of months required to complete the project. Approximately 28,200 new buildings are added to our sample each year. A total of 176,250 responses are collected annually from all respondents. The Census Bureau uses the information collected in the SOC to publish estimates of the number of new residential housing units started, under construction, completed, and the number of new houses sold and for sale. The Census Bureau also publishes many financial and physical characteristics of new housing units. Government agencies use these statistics to evaluate economic policy, measure progress towards the national housing goal, make policy decisions, and formulate legislation. For example, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System uses data from this survey to evaluate the effect of interest rates in this interest-rate sensitive area of the economy. The Bureau of Economic Analysis uses the data in developing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The private sector uses the information for estimating the demand for building materials and the many products used in new housing and to schedule production, distribution, and sales efforts. The financial community uses the data to estimate the demand for short-term (construction loans) and long-term (mortgages) borrowing.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit, Individuals or households.

Frequency: Monthly.

Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

Legal Authority: Title 13 U.S.C. 182.

OMB Desk Officer: Susan Schechter, (202) 395-5103.

Copies of the above information collection proposal can be obtained by calling or writing Diana Hynek, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, (202)482-0266, Department of Commerce, room 6625, 14th and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at dhynek@doc.gov). Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to Susan Schechter, OMB Desk Officer either by fax (202-395-7245) or e-mail (susan_schechter@omb.eop.gov).

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Dated: April 18, 2006.

Madeleine Clayton,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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[FR Doc. E6-6042 Filed 4-21-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-07-P