September Is Year’s Best Month for New Home Construction Permits

home under construction
September was the best month of the year for single-family home permits. Stock photo

A total of 453 single-family home construction permits were issued in Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne counties during September, the most for any month this year, according to new data compiled by the Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan (HBA) in Farmington Hills.

“In a year where new single-family permits have been down significantly compared to 2018, September marked not only the best month for 2019, but also the best single month since October 2018 (541),” says Michael Stoskopf, CEO of the HBA.

“September is generally a slower month for new home permits as buying activity slows down some with families focusing on getting their kids back to school. Hopefully, the ongoing effort to reduce mortgage lending rates is finally making a positive impact on the decision to buy and build a new home.”

Mortgage rates and the average single-family home sale price and the average value of new single-family permits have dropped in the last month, helping affordability. The average single-family home sale price dipped 3.8 percent to $229,934 and the average cost of a new build fell 16.5 percent to $247.627.

Oakland and Wayne counties led the strong comeback for September seeing 188 and 90 permits, respectively. Both were the highest totals for those counties, dating back to October 2018.

Multi-family housing permits continued their strong year-to-date performance, surpassing 2018 activity and running virtually neck-and-neck with 2017, which was the best year since 1998. With 131 more permits in September, the 2019 year-to-date total of multi-family housing permits is 1,616, up 84 percent over 2018.

Positive economic factors — including 30-year fixed mortgage rates, now at their lowest level since October 2016 and continued, steady growth in the number of people employed — remain bright spots.

The employment rate improved 1.8 percent over year-ago figures with roughly 2 million people in the region collecting regular paychecks.