WASHINGTON – March 23, 2018 – Single-family permits – a gauge of future construction – jumped 15 percent on a year-over-year basis in the first month of 2018, according to released U.S. Census Bureau data.
From January 2017 to January 2018, 32 states and the District of Columbia posted growth in single-family permits, and 20 states saw an uptick above 15 percent. However, 18 states posted a decline.
In Florida, permits rose 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 permits.
On the other hand, New Hampshire saw the biggest percentage decrease, falling 43.1 percent, and all New England states north of Pennsylvania registered a drop in permits.
Meanwhile, Texas posted the highest actual number of permits issued this year to date at 10,119 in January 2018, followed byFloridawith 7,300.
While permits may be on the rise in some markets, economists say that the new-home market still is underperforming nationally. 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 housing starts for combined multifamily and single-family homes dropped 7 percent in February month-over-month. However, permits for both single-family and multifamily homes jumped 12.7 percent month over month in the Northeast in February and by 3.4 percent in the Midwest. Permits however, declined by 12.4 percent in the South and by 3.4 percent in the West.
Source: "Permits Rise in January 2018," National Association of Home Builders' Eye on Housing blog (March 19, 2018)