Florida Top Volume State, California Top Home Value State

The top three states in terms of new residential permit volume - Florida, California, and Texas - accounted for 27.5% of all permits issued nationwide throughout the first three months of this year.
By Daryl Delano, Cahners Economics | May 24, 2000
Regional Trends
  • The top three states in terms of new residential permit volume - Florida, California, and Texas - accounted for 27.5% of all permits issued nationwide throughout the first three months of this year.

  • The average value of a residential permit issued nationwide during the first three months of this year was $111,855. Single-family units permitted had an estimated average value of $128,412, while the average multifamily unit permitted was worth an estimated $59,904.
  • The total number of residential permits issued nationwide during the first quarter of this year was a slight 1.4% lower than in January - March of 1999. These are still reasonably healthy numbers in light of the fact that mortgage rates were considerably lower during the spring of last year than they were in the first quarter of 2000, and the housing market was still gaining momentum. During March 1999 the nationwide average for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 7.02%; by March of 2000 that average had risen to 8.24%.

    Permit totals for five of the nine regions of the country were higher through three months of this year than over the first quarter of 1999, despite the slight overall decline in the national permit volume. The number of permits issued in the largest region of the nation -the South Atlantic - faded 6.8% between the first three months of last year and the first quarter of 2000. The West South Central states lost the most in percentage terms of any region in the country through March of this year, and the New England and Rocky Mountain regions also lost ground when compared to their 1999 year-to-date pace. However, the overall impact of declines in these three regions of the country was nearly offset by solid gains throughout the Midwest and Middle Atlantic regions, and in portions of the Pacific Coast.

    Top 25 States for Residential Building During Q1/00
    Total # of Units Permitted & Average Value/Unit
      Total Permits Average $ Value
    Florida 35,222 107,179
    California 33,280 145,220
    Texas 32,822 109,820
    Georgia 23,703 94,816
    N. Carolina 19,126 108,226
    Arizona 15,900 109,729
    Colorado 12,821 115,520
    Virginia 12,358 99,369
    Illinois 11,177 124,185
    Michigan 10,711 118,107
    Ohio 10,365 122,777
    Washington 9,513 107,148
    Tennessee 9,476 101,754
    S. Carolina 9,172 97,314
    Pennsylvania 8,843 108,225
    New York 8,446 106,535
    Indiana 8,015 117,880
    New Jersey 7,599 101,308
    Nevada 7,284 103,819
    Wisconsin 6,657 110,032
    Minnesota 6,563 126,829
    Maryland 6,558 102,422
    Missouri 5,956 103,144
    Alabama 5,036 101,665
    Kentucky 4,658 85,591
    Source: U.S. Commerce Dept.
    During the first three months of 2000, the number of residential units permitted for construction rose from the level of a year earlier in 24 states and fell in 26 states (and the District of Columbia). The losses were most severe in the South, with 6 of the 8 states in the South Atlantic region (Georgia and Maryland being the positive exceptions) issuing fewer residential permits over three months of 2000 than during January-March of 1999, and all four states in the West South Central region (Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas) recording fewer permits in the first three months of this year than over the same period of 1999.

    Double-digit over-the-year increases were registered in 10 of the 24 growth states. Among the larger states getting off to a very good start this year were Michigan (+15.7%), California (+15.6%), Colorado (+11.8%), Illinois (+9.7%), and New Jersey (+9.4%). The sharpest declines among large states so far in 2000 have been recorded in permit volume for Florida (-14.5%) and Texas (-13.8%).

    Even with the steep decline through the first three months of this year, Florida remains the volume leader with 35,222 housing permits issued through March. With 33,280 permits issued so far in 2000, California has overtaken Texas (32,822 residential permits) as the second largest state for home building as measured by total volume. The mix differs considerably among these top three home building states, however, with permits for single-family homes making up 83.2% of the Texas total, 73.3% of the Florida total, but only 66.3% of the California total through three months of 2000.

    New Residential Building Pemits by Region
    Preliminary Year-to-Date through March 2000
      # of Units Permitted Year-to-Date % Change Compared to Year Ago
    Total U.S. 368,585 -1.4
    Northeast 34,025 4.0
    New England 9,137 -1.9
    Middle Atlantic 24,888 6.4
    Midwest 69,163 9.2
    East North Central 46,925 8.5
    West North Central 22,238 10.7
    South 171,677 -7.9
    South Atlantic 108,074 -6.8
    East South Central 21,529 0.3
    West South Central 42,074 -14.3
    West 93,720 2.7
    Rocky Mountain 45,038 -1.8
    Pacific Coast 48,682 7.3
    Source: U.S. Dept. of Commerce


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