New home permits up in southeast Michigan

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

New permits for single-family homes in Metro Detroit were up in June, closing out the housing industry’s most successful start of a year since the housing crash a decade ago.

Additionally, figures released Tuesday by the Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan signal that the area could experience its best residential construction year in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and St. Clair counties since 2006.

During the first six months of 2017, 2,625 single-family permits were issued. That’s the best first half since 2006, when 4,012 permits were issued during the same time frame, said Michael Stoskopf, CEO for the home builders association.

The association predicts 4,981 single-family permits will be issued this year.

“The ressurgence of the single-family home in Southeastern Michigan has finally cemented itself,” Stoskopf said. “It’s here and it’s been consistent. It doesn’t seem to be slowing down.”

In June 2017, 523 single-family permits were issued in Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair and Wayne counties. That’s an 8 percent increase from May’s 483 permits.

The rise in residential construction comes as Michigan deals with a shortage of skilled-trade workers, noted in a report released last month by the state homebuilder’s association.

“Could we be building even more homes? The answer is yes.” Stoskopf said. “Quite frankly, it would take longer to build those homes.”

The existing housing market and lack of inventory plays a factor in those seeking to build new, Stoskopf said.

For example, in Wayne County 3,963 homes were for sale in June 2017, down 37.4 percent from 6,331 in June 2016, according to data compiled by Farmington Hills-based Realcomp II Ltd.

Figures were even more stark in Macomb County, where in June 2017 there were 1,831 homes for sale, down 47.2 percent from 3,471 in June 2016, according to Realcomp.

Southeastern Michigan also has seen an increase in multi-family apartment permits, with 654 issued during the first half of the year, exceeding 601 during the same time period in 2016. The association attributes the lack of lower-priced, entry-level, new home construction as a factor.

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