Builders Heeding Advice to Go West. Or South

The National Association of Home
Builders (NAHB) has plucked more information from the Census Bureau’s Survey of
Construction (SOC), this time to paint a portrait of the state of residential permitting
nationwide.  Danushka
writes in NAHB’s Eye on Housing blog that permits
for single-family construction issued during the first five months of the year
were up by 8 percent over the same period in 2017.  The National Association of Home Builders
(NAHB) says the nationwide total for the period is 363,327 compared to 336,410
for the year-to-date (YTD) through May 2017. The activity however, was skewed
toward the West and the South. 
were issued at a similar seasonally adjusted annual rate in May of 363,700, an
8.6 percent year-over-year increase. The Bureau will issue June construction
data on Wednesday.

While the outlook for single-family
housing is positive in three of the four regions of the country, it is dwarfed by
the increase in permitting for multi-family units in all regions, and both are
strongest in the South the West.  The
Northeast lags far behind the national averages and suffered a decline in
single family permits.  Out of the nine
Northeastern states, only three, New Hampshire, New York, and Pennsylvania
recorded an increase in single-family permit growth during this time while the
other six states declined.



Thirty-three states saw permitting
for the first five months of this year compared to last year while in 17
states and the District of Columbia the YTD rate declined. Colorado recorded the
highest growth rate during this time at 28.7 percent.  Permits in the District of Columbia declined
by 72.8 percent, but the numbers are small; 49 have been issued this year
compared to 180 YTD last year.

Texas registered the greatest number
of single family permits with 53,293 YTD and Florida was second with 39,173.
The District of Columbia was at the bottom with those 49 permits.  The 10
states issuing the highest number of single-family permits together accounted
for 61.0% of the single-family permits issued.



Nine of the 20 states which had
growth exceeding the 8 percent national YTD rate were in the Western region and
the aggregate increase across all western states largely drove that growth
rate.  Of the other 11 ‘above average”
states, seven are located in the South and three in the Midwest.  New Hampshire was the only state in the
Northeast to exceed the national number.  

Multifamily permits were also up,
rising 13.3 percent in the first five months from the same period in 2017 to a
total of 187,605 units.  Again, it was
the South and West driving that growth
with increases of 17.9 percent and 17
percent respectively.



Between May 2017 YTD and May 2018
YTD, 34 states recorded growth while 16 states and the District of Columbia recorded
a decline in multifamily permits. Rhode Island led the way with a growth rate
of 365.2%, from 23 to 107, while Mississippi had the largest decline of 85.9%
from 866 to 122.

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