Building Industry Association: Single-family home permits in March were highest since 2007

Posted on May 21, 2012

A total of 264 single-family home permits were issued in Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and St. Clair counties in March, a 58 percent increase from February — and more than in any other month since 2007, according to an analysis by the Building Industry Association of Southeast Michigan.

“I’ve been on board with BIA for four years now. … It’s the best single month since I’ve been here,” said Michael Stoskopf, CEO of the trade association, which tracks home-building permits and creates a six-month forecast.

“The recovery is beginning to take hold, and that’s good.”

The trailing 12-month total of permits issued is 2,579, 12 percent higher than March 2011’s total of 2,307, according to the analysis.

Combined with strong improvements in labor, single-family home prices and North American vehicle production, permit activity indicates a more positive outlook for the next six months, with roughly 200 permits a month expected April through September.

“I think it will be a continuing trend of growing upward momentum, but it’s going to take several months to get there,” Stoskopf said. “Based on my preliminary look at April permit data, it looks like April will have a little bit of a slowdown but will still be above 200 permits most likely. It’s not going to be as hot as it was in March, but in June, things would probably kick up a little more. It’s going to bounce around a little bit, but we’re on a general upward track.”

Nancy Kafter, Crain’s Detroit