Report: Fewer Single-family Home Permits Issued in October in Region, Home Prices up 6.8% for the Year

A lower-than-expected 348 single-family home permits were issued in Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne counties in October 2019, according to the most recent New Housing Permit Forecast by the Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan.
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home being built
Fewer single-family home permits were issued in the region than expected in October, according to the Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan. // Stock photo

A lower-than-expected 348 single-family home permits were issued in Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne counties in October 2019, according to the most recent New Housing Permit Forecast by the Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan.

“In a year where new single-family permits are down significantly compared to 2018, August and September saw a surge in activity, exceeding the 400-permit threshold each month. Our econometric model predicted October would also exceed that benchmark before the normal seasonal slowdown in November,” says Michael Stoskopf, CEO of the association.

“While the ongoing reduction in mortgage lending rates is finally making a positive impact on the decision to buy and build a new home, it appears that the lingering and wide-ranging financial impact to households affected by the recent GM strike were likely the reason for permit activity to slow down ahead of seasonal considerations.”

Oakland and Wayne counties led permit activity, seeing 124 and 121 single-family home permits issued, respectively. The counties led in September as well. For Wayne County, October activity was the highest single-family permit total since August 2018.

Overall, the average new single-family permit value in the region rose 11.2 percent month-over-month, while the year-over-year value was down 1.4 percent to $288,483.

Multi-family housing permits continued their strong year-to-date performance, adding 160 permits in October and bringing the year’s total so far to 1,776. This is up 63 percent over 2018.

Positive economic factors include 30-year fixed mortgage rates at their lowest level since October 2016.

The number of people employed stayed flat, increasing 0.3 percent month-over-month and 1.6 percent year-over-year to 1,946,414. The workforce also stayed flat, decreasing 0.1 percent from the previous month and increasing 1.8 percent from the previous year to 2,030,756.

North American vehicle production was up 5.5 percent from the previous month, but down 13.1 percent from the previous year to 1,400,751 units.

Crude oil price per barrel increased 3.1 percent month-over-month, and decreased 18 percent year-over-year to $58.09.

The average single-family home sale price stayed flat month-over-month with a 1 percent decrease and increased 6.8 percent year-over-year to $227,655.

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