Houston was second in homebuilding activity in 2017

by Rincey Abraham

Texas led the homebuilding pack as Dallas and Houston had the most building permits issued in 2017, according to a new Trulia report.

Trulia analyzed U.S. Census building permit data to measure total homebuilding activity in major metros across the country. Dallas approved 47,244 permits while Houston followed close behind with 42,673 permits. In fact, Dallas, Houston and Austin – which ranked fifth with nearly 26,000 permits in 2017 – built more than 115,000 new homes last year alone.

“Homebuilding rates matter because newly built homes are a source of new home inventory as well as construction jobs,” Trulia reports. “They also help increase existing inventory through a chain-reaction effect: buyers of new homes often sell their existing one, which frees up a home for someone else, who in turn decides to buy it and sell their home, which then becomes a home for a first-time homebuyer.”

Houston-area homebuilders plan on building as many new homes as possible. Lawrence Dean, an economist at Metrostudy, projects that local single-family housing starts alone will be around 28,000 in 2018.

“It’s generally positive,” Dean said. “Not gangbusters positive, but not negative.”

Additionally, economists at the Greater Houston Builders Association’s annual economic forecast luncheon also had positive outlooks on the housing market in the area. Even with uncertainties like the new tax law, labor shortages and rising mortgage rates, the association estimates that Houston will need around 25,000 to 30,000 new homes a year for a number of years to accommodate growth in the metro.  

U.S. Metro 2017 Annualized Permit Activity
Dallas  47,244
Houston  42,673
New York  40,687
Phoenix  29,653
Austin  25,803
Denver  22,547
Seattle  22,403
Los Angeles  21,563
Orlando  19,432
Nashville  19,292

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