News & trendsMarket conditions

Building permits up, foreclosures down nationally

by Joe Zekas on 5/16/13

From a RealtyTrac news release:

An exclusive RealtyTrac housing market analysis of building permit data recently released by the U.S. Department of HUD for the first quarter, comparing it to foreclosure starts for the same time period at the national, state and city level, found the following:

Nationwide single family building permits increased 27 percent from a year ago in the first quarter to the highest first-quarter total since 2008. Meanwhile U.S. foreclosure starts in the first quarter decreased 27 percent from a year ago to the lowest quarterly level since the second quarter of 2006.

The majority of building permits in the first quarter were for single-family homes (64 percent of total permits), followed by 5+ unit multi-family properties (33 percent). Overall multi-family building permits increased 23 percent from a year ago.
States with the most single family building permits in the first quarter were Texas, Florida, North Carolina, California and Georgia, all of which posted double-digit percentage increases from a year ago. All these top states also posted decreasing foreclosure starts from a year ago, although Florida foreclosure starts were down just 1 percent.

States where both single family building permits and foreclosure starts increased from a year ago included Nevada, Washington, New Jersey, Maryland and New York.

Cities with the most single family building permits in the first quarter were Houston, Oklahoma City, Austin, El Paso and Fort Worth. Of these top five, all except for Austin posted decreasing foreclosure starts during the same time period. Austin foreclosure starts increased 19 percent.

Cities with the most foreclosure starts in the first quarter were Miami, Las Vegas, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, with Las Vegas, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando posting increases in foreclosure starts from a year ago. All five cities posted increases in single family building permits from a year ago.

Cities where both single family building permits and foreclosure starts increased at least 10 percent from a year ago in the first quarter included Las Vegas, Seattle, Raleigh, N.C., Reno, Nevada, and Boca Raton, Fla.

Cities where both single family building permits and foreclosure starts decreased from a year ago in the first quarter included San Antonio, Albuquerque, Fresno, Bakersfield (both in California) and Greensboro, N.C.

Note that Chicago foreclosure starts were among the highest in the nation.

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