Single-family building permits jumped 27% annually in the first quarter, marking the highest 1Q total since 2008, according to data from RealtyTrac.
Conversely, foreclosure starts in the U.S. fell 27% from a year ago to the lowest quarterly level since the second quarter of 2006.
Texas, Florida, North Carolina, California and Georgia recorded most single-family building permits, all posting double-digit percentage increases year-over-year. These states also posted a drop in foreclosure starts from last year.
Nevada, Washington, New Jersey, Maryland and New York also noted increases in building permits, but posted an increase in foreclosure starts from a year ago.
"Nationwide and in most markets it appears builders are planning to ramp up activity that will help offset a drop in foreclosure starts, but there are some markets where a jump in both building permits and foreclosure starts in the first quarter indicate the scales will tip more heavily in favor of supply of homes for sale in the coming months — both new homes and foreclosures," said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac.
Blomquist said there are some markets where both building permits and foreclosure starts saw dramatic drops, which indicates there will be no reprieve from the shortage of homes for sale in those markets in the near future.
Houston, Oklahoma City, Austin, El Paso and Fort Worth were the cities with the most single-family building permits in the first quarter.
All of these top five cities, except for Austin, posted a drop in foreclosure starts.
Austin alone posted a 19% increase in foreclosure starts.