Residential construction activity is strong in the South; here’s what cities saw the most growth

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

A rising tide

Construction is up in the Lone Star State. According to a new analysis, three Texas cities made the nation’s list of most residential construction permits last year — a promising sign for those looking to build or buy a new home.

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The Lone Star State stakes its claim

A new analysis from home remodeling website Fixr shows that Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Austin had some of the nation’s most active residential construction scenes last year.

In Dallas-Fort Worth, there were more than 63,000 residential building permits filed — a 1.4 percent uptick over 2017. In nearby Houston, permits grew more than 20 times that. The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metro saw a 34.5 percent jump over 2017, clocking in with more than 57,000 residential construction permits for the year.

As Yuka Kato, Fixr’s industry analyst explains, “Hurricane Harvey seems to have been the main driver for new residential development in Texas, with homeowners choosing to rebuild homes in better positions. That said, growth in the oil and gas industries means that demand is also coming from employment nomads … mostly coming from NY.”

Austin also saw significant building activity, with 29,716 permits filed, marking an 11.3 percent increase year-over-year.

New home construction lags — but not in these four cities

Goodbye to the “greats”

Other Southern cities also saw big increases in residential construction. In Orlando, Florida, permits grew by 51.5 percent, while in nearby Jacksonville, they jumped 19.2 percent.

Atlanta; Phoenix, Arizona; Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina; and Miami also saw upticks.

Builders are slashing new construction prices; here’s where they’ve been cut the most

Though New York claimed one of the highest shares of new construction permits by number (48,384), the city actually saw activity decrease by 4.3 percent for the year. The story is similar in Chicago, which had 17,220 permits for the year but saw overall activity slip by 22 percent.

According to Kato, these two cities only made the list due to their “sheer population size and density.”

“With the more recently developed boom towns offering a better quality and cost of living, and cheaper housing, these ‘original greats’ are losing some of their luster.”

Get today’s mortgage rates

Thinking of taking advantage of all this rising construction activity? Then shop around and see what mortgage rates you qualify for today.

Verify your new rate (Oct 15th, 2019)