The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has plucked more information from the Census Bureau's Survey of Construction (SOC), this time to paint a portrait of the state of residential permitting nationwide.  Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington writes in NAHB's Eye on Housing blog that permits for single-family construction issued during the first five months of the year were up by 8 percent over the same period in 2017.  The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) says the nationwide total for the period is 363,327 compared to 336,410 for the year-to-date (YTD) through May 2017. The activity however, was skewed toward the West and the South.  Permits were issued at a similar seasonally adjusted annual rate in May of 363,700, an 8.6 percent year-over-year increase. The Bureau will issue June construction data on Wednesday.

While the outlook for single-family housing is positive in three of the four regions of the country, it is dwarfed by the increase in permitting for multi-family units in all regions, and both are strongest in the South the West.  The Northeast lags far behind the national averages and suffered a decline in single family permits.  Out of the nine Northeastern states, only three, New Hampshire, New York, and Pennsylvania recorded an increase in single-family permit growth during this time while the other six states declined.



Thirty-three states saw permitting increase for the first five months of this year compared to last year while in 17 states and the District of Columbia the YTD rate declined. Colorado recorded the highest growth rate during this time at 28.7 percent.  Permits in the District of Columbia declined by 72.8 percent, but the numbers are small; 49 have been issued this year compared to 180 YTD last year.

Texas registered the greatest number of single family permits with 53,293 YTD and Florida was second with 39,173. The District of Columbia was at the bottom with those 49 permits.  The 10 states issuing the highest number of single-family permits together accounted for 61.0% of the single-family permits issued.



Nine of the 20 states which had growth exceeding the 8 percent national YTD rate were in the Western region and the aggregate increase across all western states largely drove that growth rate.  Of the other 11 'above average" states, seven are located in the South and three in the Midwest.  New Hampshire was the only state in the Northeast to exceed the national number.  

Multifamily permits were also up, rising 13.3 percent in the first five months from the same period in 2017 to a total of 187,605 units.  Again, it was the South and West driving that growth with increases of 17.9 percent and 17 percent respectively.



Between May 2017 YTD and May 2018 YTD, 34 states recorded growth while 16 states and the District of Columbia recorded a decline in multifamily permits. Rhode Island led the way with a growth rate of 365.2%, from 23 to 107, while Mississippi had the largest decline of 85.9% from 866 to 122.