Report: July 2019 Sees Unexpected Rise in Single-family Home Permits

A total of 360 single-family home permits were issued in Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne counties in July, according to the Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan. That’s up nearly 3 percent over June’s revised total of 351 permits. July is generally slower than May, June, and August.
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In July 2019, 360 single-family home permits were issued in the region. This number is higher than in June despite July being a historically low month. // Stock photo

A total of 360 single-family home permits were issued in Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne counties in July, according to the Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan. That’s up nearly 3 percent over June’s revised total of 351 permits. July is generally slower than May, June, and August.

The results were reported in the HBA/Carter Lumber Southeastern Michigan Residential Building Activity Report.

“July is typically a slower month for permit activity relative to the months preceding and following it,” says Michael Stoskopf, CEO of HBA of Southeastern Michigan. “However, this year we saw a nice uptick that was perhaps reflective of increased existing home sales in July (up over 7 percent compared to June) as indicated by REALCOMP data for the same four counties.

“This, along with other positive economic factors, including 30-year fixed mortgage rates at their lowest level since September 2017, continued steady growth in the number of people employed and a steadily growing workforce, has our econometric model forecasting stronger permit activity during the second half of 2019.”

Across Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties, multi-family housing permits are seeing a resurgence, far surpassing 2018 activity and running at a similar pace with 2017, which was the best year since 1998. With 313 permits in July, the year-to-date total of multi-family home permits is 1,386, up 74 percent over 2018.

Oakland County accounts for 59 percent, or 816, of the region’s multi-family home permits, Macomb County accounts for 26 percent, or 354, and Wayne County accounts for 15 percent, or 216.

The average value of the multi-family housing permits issued so far in 2019 is $144,429, up 21 percent over 2018, indicating that more upscale rental stock is being built to help address new single-family housing affordability challenges.

The number of people employed – a little more than 1.9 million – as well as the workforce – a little more than 2 million – stayed flat year-over-year and month-over-month. Both figures saw small increases. Employment grew 0.5 percent from the previous month and 0.7 percent from the previous year, while the workforce grew 0.8 percent both month-over-month and year-over-year.

North American vehicle production decreased 19.9 percent from June to about 1.1 million. This is a decrease by 2 percent year-over-year. Crude oil price per barrel decreased 10.1 percent from June and 14.5 percent from July 2018 to $56.65.

The average single-family home sale price stayed flat from June 2019 and increased 3.2 percent from July 2018 to $236,680.

The average new single-family permit value decreased 10.6 percent from the previous month to $273,756. This is flat from the previous year with a small decrease of 2.9 percent.

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