Michigan housing permits up 42 percent in January

LANSING — Michigan’s homebuilding industry started 2018 on a solid upswing, according to a press release from the Home Builders Association of Michigan.

Housing permits for single family home construction increased 42.1 percent in Michigan during January. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 1,029 permits issue in January, compared to 724 for the same period in 2017. The January increase is encouraging news for the home building industry, the release states, which has been experiencing modest growth since the end of the recession.

“It is certainly good news to start the year off with a large double-digit increase,” Bob Filka, CEO of the Home Builders Association of Michigan, said in the release. “Realistically, it is important to understand that January is a light month construction-wise and the raw number of permits is relatively low. It is nice, however, to have some momentum as we head into the spring building season”

Michigan’s homebuilding industry has been experiencing modest growth in recent years. In 2017, housing permits were up 10.2 percent over prior year levels. However, the number of homes being constructed in Michigan are well below historical highs and below levels most economists say are needed to adequately support long-term demand of Michigan’s population, according to the release.

The modest growth being experienced in homebuilding is an issue that impacts more than just homebuilders. Potential buyers are facing a limited supply of available homes, rising prices which are forcing many potential homeowners to the sidelines, and sluggish revenues for local governments and schools that rely of tax revenues that homebuilders traditionally deliver to their communities.

The Home Builders Association of Michigan has warned of a looming housing shortage in Michigan when it issued a proposed 13-point action plan to aggressively attack challenges faced by the industry.

Copies of the HBAM report, “Housing Challenges Threaten Our Economic Growth–Where Will Ten Million Michiganders Live?” can be downloaded at HBAofMichigan.com.