Report: Fewer Single-family Home Building Permits Issued than Expected in May

In May 2019, a total of 353 single-family home building permits were issued in Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne counties, according to the latest report from the Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan. The number falls short of the forecasted 465 permits.
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house under construction
May saw the issuance of fewer single-family home building permits than expected in metro Detroit. // Stock photo

In May 2019, a total of 353 single-family home building permits were issued in Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne counties, according to the latest report from the Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan. The number falls short of the forecasted 465 permits.

The new data brings the year-to-date total to 1,553 permits for 2019. The association’s recent reports have compared 2019 to 2015 due to comparable significant weather impacts, but the total for this year also falls short of that of May 2015, when 432 permits were issued.

“This month’s results indicate a slowdown in the residential real estate market, most clearly reflected in new home construction permit activity but also evident in the number of existing home sales, which were up only 1 percent over May 2018, according to a recent RE/MAX report,” says Michael Stoskopf, CEO of the association.

“Weather impacted new home permit activity to start the year, but May’s results reflect what may become a broader trend. A number of factors could be at play, including economic uncertainty and concern about the possibility of declining disposable income as the result of tariffs on imported items from China.”

Economic factors that are predicted to have a positive impact include 30-year fixed mortgage rates at their lowest level since January 2018. Also, the number of people employed as well as the workforce averaged their highest levels since 2006.

The number of people employed inched up 1.1 percent year-over-year in May and fell 0.5 percent month-over-month to 1,911,162. The workforce has increased 1.6 percent from the previous year and decreased by 1 percent from the previous month to 1,989,705.

North American vehicle production remained largely flat year-over-year with an increase of 2.9 percent and has jumped 11.5 percent from the previous month to 1,528,718.

Crude oil price per barrel has decreased 3.9 percent from the previous year and increased 9.8 percent from the previous month to $65.70.

The average new single-family home permit value decreased 5 percent year-over-year and 4.6 percent month-over-month to $292,941.

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