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The Ups and Downs in Single-Family Permits

Single family permits declined year over year according to a recent report. February 2019 data from the National Association of Home Builders [1] (NAHB) indicates a 6.2% decline in single-family permits over the February 2018 level of 123,871.

By region, only the Northeast region of the U.S. experienced an increase in single-family permits, up by 5.7 percent year over year. Meanwhile, South, Midwest, and the West regions declined by 3.1%, 13.0%, and 12.9% respectively. According to the NAHB, multifamily saw higher growth in most regions, especially in the midwest, where multifamily expanded by 44.3%.

By state, 16 states and the District of Columbia saw growth in single-family permits issued while 34 states registered a decline. NAHB notes that D.C. recorded the highest growth rate during this time at 112.5%. According to the NAHB, the 10 states issuing the highest number of single-family permits combined accounted for 64.3% of the total single-family permits issued.

While housing permits are slipping nationally, realtor.com found which cities made up the top 10 markets with the highest number of housing permits [2] for single-family homes, condos and co-ops, apartments, townhomes, and duplexes. According to realtor.com, cities in the South and Southwest, which tend to have “fewer costly and time-consuming building regulations” have seen an increase in residential construction activity.

Dallas tops the list with 63,421 permits, a 2.8 percent increase from a year ago. With big companies flocking to Dallas and “builder-friendly laws and regulations,” Dallas continues to grow. Much of the metro’s new construction is in the $250,000 to $300,000 range.

Houston, Texas, followed Dallas in the No.2 spot with 57,021 housing permits, a notable 33.6 percent rise from a year earlier. However, it is important to note that some of this new construction can be attributed to rebuilds after Hurricane Harvey.

New York, an outlier, claimed the No. 3 spot on the list, followed by Atlanta, Georgia, where permits increased 19 percent up to 39,132. Even with this increase, the researchers say, Atlanta continues to lack sufficient inventory.