Six of the top 10 U.S. markets with the most single-family construction activity during the last year are located in Texas and the Southeast, according to research by John Burns Real Estate Counseling.
Burns ranked the top 20 markets in the country by the total number of single-family permits pulled over the last 12 months. Tracking metro-level permit trends helps indicate which housing markets are growing and by how much.
Houston, benefiting from strong job growth, an expanding population and an accommodating building environment, boasted 26,727 single-family permits during the last 12 months, more than twice the amount in second-ranked Dallas.
Each of the top 20 markets saw a sharp gain in new home construction activity. Phoenix led all metros with a 63 percent year-over-year jump, thanks to a recent surge in demand brought on by low resale supply, increasing investor activity, rising prices and strong job growth. Oklahoma City (55 percent) and Orlando (49 percent) also experienced remarkable acceleration in new home construction during the last 12 months.
Improvement in employment is a key indicator of future housing demand, so it’s no surprise single-family permit activity has generally been highest in metros that have seen the strongest job growth. Oklahoma City, Orlando and Phoenix all have experienced job growth of more than 2.5 percent year over year.
But construction activity has also picked up in markets with relatively weak job growth, including Las Vegas and Jacksonville. Considerable pent-up demand and improving housing fundamentals are spurring construction in these markets despite still-sluggish economies.