Real Estate

Everyone’s building in Texas: Houston, DFW lap field in residential building permits

Two Texas metros are top in U.S. for most residential building permits issued

It appears the phrase “don’t mess with Texas” does not apply to those in the residential building industry. 

A recent study by Apartmentguide.com revealed that, as of July this year, the Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth metros were the top two metropolitan areas in the nation in terms of issuing the most residential building permits. 

Both areas exceeded 34,000 permits issued. For reference, the national average for the year, as of July 2019, sat at 1,843 permits. 

“While certain Texas cities saw declines in the value of new construction, there seemed to be no slowing down for the number of new homes constructed in some regions of the Lone Star State,” the report stated before addressing the growth in Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth.

“These metropolitan areas are likely seeing construction increase due to a spike in job growth,” the report continued. “Between August of 2018 and August of 2019, the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area saw a 3.1% increase in employment — more than twice the national rate of 1.4%.”

From a regional perspective, Southern cities saw far more building activity than the rest of the nation. According to the report, the South saw the highest number of new housing units authorized with a total of 401,814.

The runner up region was home to less than half that amount, as Western states built 196,610 new residences. The Midwest and Northeast saw the fewest new units with 101,245 and 73,898, respectively.

“Overall, new home construction in each region did not correspond to the percentage of the population that lived there,” the report stated. “For instance, although the South is home to just 38.1% of Americans, 51.9% of all building permits were for Southern residences.”

However, that trend may be coming to an end. Last fall, a study from Redfin showed that in the third quarter of 2018, people continued to relocate from costly coastal markets like San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C to cities like Atlanta, Phoenix and Sacramento.

This summer, the company released similar findings, stating that the most searched destination cities included places like Atlanta, Austin, Dallas and Miami, with the searchers looking to relocate from cities such as New York, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles. 

With populations shifting and Southern metros booming with building permits, Apartmentguide.com also looked the ratio of permits to residents in certain areas. 

“When comparing residential growth to the population, the Raleigh-Cary metropolitan area had the most residential properties breaking ground,” the report said. “The population in this metropolitan area has recently skyrocketed, increasing by 39% more residents in less than five years.”

This fact was in line with Urban Land Institute’s projections of the top U.S. real estate markets for 2020. Sitting at No. 2 behind Austin was the Raleigh/Durham metro area.

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