Home Builders entered 2017 by pulling more permits

Builders secured more January permits compared with December and the year ago period. 

February 17, 2017

More new homes are on the horizon as builders nationwide secured 4.6 percent more permits during January compared with December. 

The activity was 8.2 percent higher than the number of permits issued during January 2016, according to the latest seasonally adjusted figures released jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

The Northeast saw the largest spike, jumping 29.6 percent from December and 71.3 percent from the January 2016. Despite the increase, the region still trailed the rest of the country most likely due to the lake of available land, high property prices, and more local government regulations compared with less stringent and more builder-friendly parts of the country. The pickup in permits comes amid a market with tight inventory and the number of finished houses delivered last month declined 5.6 percent compared with December and slipped 0.9 percent from January 2016.

The number of new permits is encouraging,” says Joe Kirchner, senior economist at Realtor.com. “Eventually that will lead to new homes on the market.”

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