New Residential Building Permits by Region - May 2000

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The total number of residential permits issued nationwide during the first five months of this year was 2.2% less than in January-May of 1999.

July 13, 2000
  % of Units

Permitted

Year-to-date
% Change

Compared to

Year Ago
TOTAL U.S. 652,934 -2.2%
NORTHEAST 64,106 3.2%
New England 17,340 -4.2%
Middle Atlantic 46,766 6.3%
MIDWEST 133,043 1.9%
East North Central 91,905 0.5%
West North Central 41,138 5.1%
SOUTH 294,133 -6.2%
North Atlantic 184,377 -5.3%
East South Central 36,812 -1.9%
West South Central 72,944 -10.0%
WEST 161,652 0.7%
Rocky Mountain 77,492 -2.3%
Pacific Coast 84,160 2.4%
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce; Professional Builder

The total number of residential permits issued nationwide during the first five months of this year was 2.2% less than in January-May of 1999. Still, permit totals for four of the nine regions of the country were higher through five months of this year than through May of 1999, despite the slight overall decline in the national permit volume, so the housing market continues to record solid growth in numerous State and metro sub-markets.

The number of permits issued in the largest region of the nation - the South Atlantic - fell by a relatively steep 5.3% between January-May 1999 and the first five months of 2000. However, the magnitude of the over-the-year decline in this region has shrunk during the past two months. The West South Central states lost the most in percentage terms (-10.0%) of any region in the country through May of this year, and the New England, East South Central, and Rocky Mountain regions also lost ground when compared to their 1999 year-to-date pace. However, the overall impact of declines in these five regions of the country was offset to a significant degree by solid-although shrinking-- gains throughout the Midwest and Middle Atlantic regions, and in the critically important state of California (+9.8%).

During the first five months of 2000, the number of residential units permitted for construction rose from the level of a year earlier in 16 states and fell in 34 states (and the District of Columbia). The losses were most severe in the South, with 7 of the 8 states in the South Atlantic region (Georgia being the positive exception, with an impressive 10.9% gain) issuing fewer residential permits over five months of 2000 than during January-May of 1999, and all four states in the West South Central region (Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas) recording fewer permits in the first five months of this year than over the same period of 1999.

Double-digit over-the-year increases were registered in 6 of the 16 growth states: Hawaii (+34.9%), Iowa (+11.9%), South Dakota (+11.9%), Illinois (+11.2%), Georgia (+10.9%), and New York (+10.4%). The sharpest declines among large states so far in 2000 have been recorded in permit volume for Florida (-10.8%) and Texas (-8.7%). Even with the steep decline through the first five months of this year, however, Florida remains the volume leader with 59,771 housing permits issued through May 2000-about 4% more than in Texas and about 6% greater than the total number of housing permits issued in California through five months of this year.

Also See:

Building Materials Price Inflation

Housing Starts

Consumer Confidence By Region

Recent Trends In New Residential Permits for 1999’s Top 25 Metro Areas

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