Permits Fall Off Slightly

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Residential building permits nationwide were issued at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.612 million units during august 1999.

November 01, 1999
New Residential Building Permits by Region

(Preliminary Year-to-date through August 1999)
  # of Units Permitted Year-to-date % Change Compared to Year Ago
TOTAL U.S. 1,129,785 5.8%
NORTHEAST 110,926 9.9%
New England 32,155 1.5%
Middle Atlantic 78,771 13.7%
MIDWEST 225,885 7.3%
East North Central 157,874 7.9%
West North Central 68,011 6.0%
SOUTH 518,127 5.9%
South Atlantic 323,850 10.9%
East South Central 62,683 -0.3%
West South Central 131,594 -2.0%
WEST 274,847 2.9%
Rocky Mountain 130,768 -1.8%
Pacific Coast 144,079 7.5%
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce; Professional Builder

Residential building permits nationwide were issued at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.612 million units during August 1999. This was off 1.8% from the July pace, and 3.5% below the August 1998 level. The number of single-family permits issued declined 3.5% between July and August of this year, but permits for multifamily units were issued at a rate 3.3% higher in August than during the prior month. Through the first two-thirds of this year, residential permits totaled almost 1.13 million--5.8% more than for the same period in 1998, and slightly better than the 5.4% increase in total starts through the first eight months of 1999.

As it has been for so much of this year, over-the-year permit growth through the first two-thirds of 1999 was strongest in the Northeast (+9.9%). Despite the encouraging numbers (especially for the Middle Atlantic states), however, it should be noted that residential building activity in the region represents slightly less than 10% of total nationwide activity in terms of number of units.

Total permits issued in the East South Central, West South Central, and Rocky Mountain regions through the first eight months of this year came up short of their January-August 1998 totals. But permit growth continues at a double-digit annual clip in the vast South Atlantic region.

In the Northeast, only Connecticut had recorded fewer permits through August of this year than during the first eight months of 1998. In the hot South Atlantic region, South Carolina (+17.5%), North Carolina (+15.1%), and Florida (+14.3%) have all recorded permit growth well above the regional average through the first eight months of 1999.

Also See:

Seiders Sees upside To Slackening New Home Sales

Some Markets Cooling

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