Report: 164 Single-family Home Permits Issued in May as Residential Construction Resumes

In May, a total of 164 single-family home permits were issued in Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne counties, according to the Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan. The association hopes this begins a period of economic recovery for the industry.
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In May, 164 single-family home permits were issued in Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne counties. // Stock photo

In May, a total of 164 single-family home permits were issued in Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne counties, according to the Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan. The association hopes this begins a period of economic recovery for the industry.

The stay home order that began in early March combined with the mandatory suspension of nearly all construction activity brought new home permits to a halt. Through April, a limited number of municipalities continued working remotely and issued a few permits. On May 7, residential construction activity was allowed to resume under COVID-19 safety guidelines.

“The past three months felt like three years given everything we’ve gone through as a region, state, and nation,” says Michael Stoskopf, CEO of the association. “With that said, we worked closely with our builders, local municipalities, and the governor’s emergency management team to ensure that when we were given the green light to resume work, our builders could hit the ground running safely and responsibly.

“We also used this time to adjust our econometric model in order to attempt to provide a forecast during this unprecedented time. Based on outlooks by national economists, we have incorporated a v-shaped adjustment to our forecasting model which presumes a five-month impact period, beginning in March, before returning to seasonal trend. From March through May, HBA had forecast 417 new home permits, with the actual number coming in at 435. While 2020 is not what we thought it would be at the end of February, it is a small victory nonetheless. I know our builders will take it. In fact, many report moderate increases in buyer traffic and sales during May and June.”

The average new single-family permit value grew 27.1 percent month-over-month and 7.3 percent year-over-year to $309,988. The average single-family home price decreased 4.4 percent from the previous month to $226,273. This is largely flat from a year ago with a 1.8 percent drop.

The number of employed – 1,359,981 – reflects a 29.4 percent decrease from the previous month and a 28.7 percent decrease from the previous year. The workforce also took a hit with a drop of 10.8 percent month-over-month and 9.2 percent year-over-year to 1,799,834.

North American vehicle production jumped 7,576.7 percent month-over-month to 371,551 units due to auto makers resuming their operations. However, this is a 75.5 percent decrease in production from the previous year.

The price of crude oil per barrel decreased 55.4 percent from the previous month and 84.8 percent from the previous year to $10.01.

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