The total number of residential permits issued nationwide during the first three-quarters of this year was 4.1% less than in January-September of 1999. Permit totals for only two of the nine regions of the country were higher through the first nine months of this year than through September of 1999.
Permit volume in the Pacific Coast region increased by a slight 0.7% between the first nine months of 1999 and the first three-quarters of 2000, and permit volume eked out a 0.2% gain in the Middle Atlantic region. But losses in four of the other seven regions were of a magnitude of more than 5%, so the permit trend for the market as a whole has fallen well below its year-ago pace.
The number of permits issued in the largest region of the nation - the South Atlantic - fell by 5.5% between January-September 1999 and the first nine months of 2000, although it''''s encouraging to note that the magnitude of the over-the-year decline for this region has been consistently shrinking in recent months. The West South Central region of the country lost the most permit volume in percentage terms (-9.2%) through September of this year.
During the first three-quarters of 2000, the number of residential units permitted for construction rose from the level of a year earlier in 11 states and fell in 39 states (and in the District of Columbia). The losses were most severe in the South, with 7 of the 8 states in the South Atlantic region (Georgia being the positive exception, with a solid 5.6% gain) issuing fewer residential permits over nine months of 2000 than during January-September of 1999, and all four states in the West South Central region (Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas) recording far- fewer permits in the first three-quarters of this year than over the same period of 1999.
Double-digit over-the-year increases were registered in only two of the eleven growth states: Hawaii (+22.6%) and South Dakota (+10.7%). However, a few large-volume states recorded solid (if short of double-digit) permit gains through the first nine months of 2000: Colorado (+8.6%), New York (+7.2%), and California (+6.0%). The sharpest permit volume declines among large states during the first three-quarters of 2000 were recorded in Florida (-7.1%) and Texas (-6.2%). These two states combined to account for 18.2% of all permits issued throughout the country between January and September of this year - although California has displaced Texas as the second most active home building market (after Florida) so far during 2000.
Building Materials Price Inflation - September
Housing Starts - September
Consumer Confidence By Region - September
Recent Trends in New Residential Permits for 1999s Top 25 Metro Areas