The California Homebuilding Foundation (CHF) has introduced a new database it says will provide real estate professionals and researchers with more comprehensive reports on construction projects throughout California.

The CHF took over operations of the Construction Industry Research Board (CIRB) last year, and collects construction information including building permit and valuation data from more than 530 city and county governments in California.

CIRB data has been collected for more than 60 years. But the data had been stored in antiquated systems, according to the CHF. CHF has been working to modernize CIRB’s system to make reports more timely and user-friendly, said CHF Executive Director Terri Brunson.

Information from the old system has been imported into a new database that now "seamlessly" collects new data from cities and counties. The new system enables CHF to offer monthly and annual CHF/CIRB reports on residential and commercial building activity, in addition to the statewide and metropolitan statistical area reports that it has produced in the past.

"CHF/CIRB data benefits Realtors as they interpret construction and housing markets by providing data that can be used as an indicator of new single-family, multifamily and commercial real estate in their area of interest," Brunson said.

All reports compiled from data in the new system will also now be made available electronically, in Excel and PDF documents. CHF said that will help subscribers to more easily organize and interpret its data. In addition, the new system enables users to order customized reports that could shed light on permit trends. 

"Industry professionals can now order special reports on past and current permit trends online, and in formats that may reveal better ways to approach projects," Brunson said. "Customer reports can be modified by the customer to identify data based on month, year, construction category and area."

Prices of CHF reports will remain the same, the CHF said. Annual subscription for the "California Construction Review" is $720, while an annual subscription for the "Metropolitan Statistical Area" is $620. Both include 12 monthly construction reports and an annual statewide building permit report. Annual statewide building permit survey summaries are also available. A survey summary for the current year is $300, while summaries for previous years are $150 each. 

Companies that are members of a building industry association or homebuilding association may receive discounts of up to 25 percent on its offerings, the trade foundation said. 

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