Based on residential permit data compiled by the Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan, a total of 265 single-family permits were issued in Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne counties in the first month of 2017. An additional 14 multi-family permits were also issued to start the year.
Single family permits were down 6 percent from 282 in January 2016, while up only slightly from the 261 issued in December 2016. Experts at HBA say the colder weather experienced in January might have been a factor in the market’s “slow start,” but doesn’t explain why actual activity was much lower than the economic model forecast of 394 permits.
Despite falling short of projections, January’s results mark the third highest for the month since 2006, behind only 2016 and 2013.
Based on economic data collected through last month, experts at HBA project that the next six months of 2017 will see a “steady” single-family home permit activity, which should exceed that of 2016. Barring any significant events (weather, terrorism, economic issues, etc.) the positive aspects of record North American vehicle production, continued employment growth, and an existing home market with low inventories, should result in sustained new home construction.
However, it appears that 2017 will see the “beginning of a significant slowdown,” from the flurry of multi-family home construction noted in the previous three years.