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The Decline of Single-Family Permits

The total number of single-family housing permits issued through April 2019 reached 261,119 nationwide, which is a 6.5% year-over-year decline, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

A total of 279,302 single-family permits were issued last year through April 2018. The only region of the nation to see growth through April 2019 was the Northeast, which grew 1.9% year-over-year increase in single-family permits.

The biggest drop was the 12% decline in permits in the western region, which also had the only reported decrease in the nation for multi-family permits.

The Midwest saw an 11.3% decrease in single-family permits and the South saw single-family permits decline by 3.8%.

Between April 2018 and April 2019, the District of Columbia saw the highest growth in single-family permits at 111.1%, and just 10 states recorded increases. Connecticut posted a 39.1% increase in single-family housing permits. 

Montana’s 28.3% decline was the worst in the nation. The 10 states with the highest number of single-family permits accounted for 62.122% of total single-family permits issued.

This report comes shortly after the NAHB revealed that single-family construction growth has been slowing, especially in smaller cities. The NAHB used small cities, which make up 37% of all single-family construction nationwide and 30% of the U.S. population, as a “demographic and economic microcosm” of the United States.

According to the NAHB, small metropolitan areas, or cities with less than one million in population, reported weak growth in single-family construction.

Large metro areas, with populations of more than one million, on the other hand, are posting greater rates of expansion at the start of 2019. According to the NAHB, exurbs—outlying counties of large metro areas with at least 1 million residents—were the only region that registered single-family permit growth on a year-over-year basis in Q1 2019.

While containing just 9% of single-family construction nationally, exurbs were the only region to show permit growth when comparing Q1 2019 data to Q1 2018 data, with a 1.6% increase.

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.

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