Single-family home construction permits – a common measure indicative of future new home building – increased sharply by 15 percent on a year-over-year basis in the first month of 2018, according to released United States Census Bureau data.
From January 2017 to January 2018, 32 states and the District of Columbia posted growth in single-family building permits, and 20 states saw an increase of over 15 percent. However, 18 states posted a decline.
In Florida, permits increased 20.8 percent year-to-year – the highest rate in the U.S. for any state east of South Dakota. However, some states saw permit increases higher than 50 percent, including California, Alaska and Colorado, with Idaho topping the charts with the highest growth rate – a 101.6 percent increase in single-family home building permits.
On the other hand, New Hampshire saw the biggest percentage decrease, dropping 43.1 percent, and all New England states north of Pennsylvania registered decreases in permits.
Texas posted the highest actual number of permits issued this year to date at 10,119 in January 2018, followed by the state of Florida with 7,300 permits issued.
While home building permits may be on the rise in some markets, economists say that the new-home market still is under-performing on an overall nationwide scale. A total of 1.2 million homes were constructed last year, which Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS®, recently called “vastly inadequate.”
The U.S. Department of Commerce recently reported that new home construction for combined multifamily and single-family homes decreased by 7 percent in February month-over-month. However, permits for both single-family and multifamily homes increased by 12.7 percent month over month in the Northeast in February and by 3.4 percent in the Midwest. Permits declined by 12.4 percent in the South and by 3.4 percent in the West.