Houston leads the nation in single-family building permits over last 10 years

by Patrick Regan

Houston had more building permits for single-family homes over the last decade than any other metro area in the nation, a new report from StorageCafe found. 

The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land area had more than 392,000 single-family home building permits from January 2012 to December 2021, including 104,000 in just the last two years, the report said. 

“Houston has been the primary destination for newcomers moving to Texas, especially Californians who find respite in Harris County’s lower home prices and tax rates, cheaper land and sound economy,” the report said. “A typical home in Harris County, for example, is 57% cheaper than in Los Angeles County (approx. $848,000 vs. $365,990) whereas the average annual pay is about the same.”

StorageCafe, an online storage unit listings platform, measured permits for single- and multi-family housing, plus square-footage of new commercial, retail, office and self-storage space, to determine the most active real estate markets over the last decade. 

While Greater Houston has the most single-family home permits, it finished second on the overall real estate activity list, behind Dallas. 

“Not only did the Sunbelt and Mountain states gain large numbers of residents, many are highly educated and skilled workers that lived previously in dense coastal markets,” Randall Sakamoto, president and director of research for Rosen Consulting Group, said in the report. 

“The pandemic accelerated this trend drastically during the last two years, and many of these relocations will be permanent even if remote work options change over time.” 

The top 15 metro areas for real estate activity over the last decade as determined by StorageCafe:

  1. Dallas
  2. Houston
  3. New York City
  4. Phoenix
  5. Atlanta
  6. Los Angeles
  7. Washington, D.C.
  8. Chicago
  9. Miami
  10. Denver
  11. Austin
  12. Seattle
  13. Charlotte
  14. Orlando
  15. Philadelphia


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