Building permits offer hope for homebuyers out West

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

Hope is on the horizon

Western homebuyers can rejoice. If a recent rise in single-family residential building permits is any indication, the area could see an influx of new inventory in the coming years.

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The West wins

According to recent Census data, the number of single-family residential building permits has spiked in 2018. Up 8.4 percent over last year, nearly 280,000 permits have been issued to date.

And while that’s certainly welcome news for buyers struggling to find affordable inventory, it seems the outlook is even better out West.

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Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Washington and California all outpaced the national permit growth rate, with Colorado leading the pack. The state has seen permits rise 34.2 percent over the last year.

“Out of the 13 which are classified as Western states, nine states recorded single-family permit growth exceeding the national average,” said Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington, senior economist at the National Association of Home Builders. “A total of 15 states recorded growth rates higher than the national average and nine of these came from the Western region of the county.”

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Good news and bad news

But it’s not just Western homebuyers that have reason to celebrate. Five other states saw high growth in building permits, including Indiana, Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, Florida and Alaska.

The news isn’t so good for Midwesterners, though. Most states in the region saw permits decline in the last year, with Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, South Dakota, Minnesota and North Dakota all experiencing dips.

A handful of Northeastern states saw decreases as well, including Maine, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont. Washington, D.C., reported the lowest number of permits in the entire country, indicating an uphill battle for capital homebuyers.

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