Recent Trends In New Residential Permits for 1999's Top 25 Metro Areas - May 2000

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Among 1999's top ten areas in terms of sheer volume of new residential construction, only three - Atlanta, Chicago, and the Washington, DC metropolitan area - were able to build upon their totals through the first five months of this year.

July 13, 2000
1999 Rank   # of units
Permitted
Year-to-date
% Change
Compared to
Year Ago
1 Atlanta GA 28,527 18.5%
2 Phoenix-Mesa AZ 20,597 -6.2
3 Chicago IL 15,555 11.3
4 Washington DC 15,640 0.8
5 Dallas TX 12,964 -21.0
6 Houston TX 12,696 -10.7
7 Orlando FL 9,013 -33.0
8 Las Vegas NV 11,797 -2.0
9 Charlotte NC 10,628 -2.4
10 Tampa-St. Petersburg FL 7,126 -9.9
11 Minneapolis MN 9,190 11.6
12 Denver CO 10,744 14.5
13 Raleigh-Durham NC 8,265 -5.5
14 Riverside-San Bernardino CA 8,449 13.4
15 Seattle WA 7,795 -7.7
16 Detroit MI 7,448 -7.4
17 Philadelphia PA 6,786 -4.0
18 Austin TX 6,651 -3.1
19 Kansas City MO-KS 6,108 -7.3
20 San Diego CA 6,578 -6.9
21 Columbus OH 5,910 2.0
22 Indianapolis IN 6,490 1.1
23 New York NY 7,011 26.6
24 Portland, OR 5,686 -18.5
25 Los Angeles, CA 6,698 45.3
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce; Professional Builder

Among 1999's top ten areas in terms of sheer volume of new residential construction, only three - Atlanta, Chicago, and the Washington, DC metropolitan area - were able to build upon their totals through the first five months of this year. The other seven highest-volume metropolitan areas all let fewer permits for new residential construction work through May of this year than during January-May 1999. Declines among last year's top ten have been especially steep in Orlando and Dallas, with over-the-year losses of more than 20%.

Among the 15 metropolitan areas that made up the balance of last year's "Top 25" home building markets, the growth momentum so far this year has been somewhat stronger, with a respectable 7 of these areas recording increases in building permits so far in 2000. Only the Portland metropolitan area had registered a decline of more than 10% in permit activity through five months of 2000, compared with three areas with double-digit losses among last year's "Top 10". The most impressive over-the-year gains have been recorded in Los Angeles, New York, Denver, and Riverside-San Bernardino.

Three metro areas that were just outside of last year's "Top 25" -- and that are coming on strong to the point that they could break into this year's highest-volume list - are St. Louis (5,954 permits, +10.4%), Sacramento (with 5,896 residential permits issued through May 2000, up 21.5% from a year ago), and Memphis (4,686 permits, +20.2%).

However, there's another group of metro areas that were "contenders" for last year's "Top 25" list that have faded this year. Although permit volume is still reasonably high, disappointing losses have been recorded in 2000 by Miami (-25.7%), Cincinnati (-16.9%), Fort Lauderdale (-10.7%), Nashville (-9.5%), and Jacksonville (-8.9%).

Also See:

Building Materials Price Inflation

Housing Starts

Consumer Confidence By Region

New Residential Building Permits by Region

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