Based on residential permit data compiled by the Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan (HBA) and reported in the HBA/Carter Lumber Southeastern Michigan Residential Building Activity Report, a total of 368 single-family home permits were issued in Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne counties in August.
This number is 3 percent higher than the initially reported for August 2020 (358), and 23 percent higher than the 299 permits HBA’s econometric model had forecast for the month.
“Our econometric model forecast for August 2021 was based on various economic factors observed in January 2021,” says Michael Stoskopf, HBA’s CEO. “While pleased that the actual result exceeded forecast, the result was only equal to the number of permits initially reported for August 2019, in a year absent COVID-19. Traditionally, the shortage of available home inventory in the existing home market would be driving more new home permit activity.”
Multi-family permits continued to perform strong this year, with another 139 permits in August, making the year-to-date total 1,762 permits. This is the best start to a year for multi-family permits since 1998, which saw 3,639 issued.
According to data from the U.S. Department of Labor, which is delayed by a month, July’s employment numbers are the highest they’ve been in the four-county area since March 2020. The 1.848 million employed is a 2.3 percent increase from last month, and a 5.8 percent increase from a year ago.
Jobless claims across the state of Michigan in August were at their second lowest rate since February 2021 — 38,421 and 30,544 respectively.
Another economic standard used by the HBA is North American vehicle production, which continues to suffer from the microchip shortage, while crude oil prices are beginning to plateau — unfortunately at a level more than 60 percent higher than this time last year.