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Housing permits skyrocket 37.1% in the West, all U.S. new home stats rise

Housing permits’ meteoric rise

The U.S. Commerce Department today reports that in March, building permits which are a leading economic indicator predicting future housing starts, rose 11.2% nationally with multifamily permits rising 25% and single family homes rising 6%.

The West rose 37% in permit volume, the Midwest rose 7%, the South 6% and the Northeast remained unchanged.

This could explain why builder sentiment is rising despite historically low sales, starts and permits this spring.

Housing starts rise as well

Nationally, housing starts rose 7% with over half a million homes breaking ground. This is a huge shift from a devastating, historically bad February.

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Single family home starts increased 8% and multifamily starts rose 6%, both of which will likely be higher in April’s data given the surge in permit issuance for the period.

Housing starts in the Midwest rose 32%, in the West 28%, and even in the Northeast who saw unchanged permit apps, starts rose 5.4%. The South continues to decline in starts, however, with a 3% dip during March.

NAHB weighs in

“While the overall rate of new-home production remains quite low and is still being weighed down by significant uncertainties among both home builders and buyers, this latest report is encouraging,” said Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Reno, Nev. “It means that some builders are cautiously beginning to re-stock their extremely thin inventories of new homes in anticipation of gradual improvement in consumer demand as the economy slowly inches toward recovery.”

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  1. Benn Rosales

    April 19, 2011 at 11:19 am

    This is really great news, you just don't hear enough about the housing shortages taking place in burbs around the country. Not every real estate market is ailing.

  2. April Groves

    April 19, 2011 at 11:21 am

    I have NAHB's assessment accurate where we are (Coastal Georgia). With so much distressed and resale inventory on the market, buyers (even those considering new construction) are really looking to "kick the tires." They would prefer actual walls and quick move ins to choosing floor plans and making selections through a build cycle.

    I hope it is a sign of the recovery in the market and not just a reflection of builders attempting to give buyers what we think they want.

  3. MH for Movoto

    April 21, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Wow, this is absolutely nuts! In a really good way, of course.

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