Wednesday, February 29, 2012

El Paso dominates in new single-family permits in Janaury

Of the 624 new single-family permits issued during January 2012, 127 of them, or 20 percent, were issued in El Paso County alone. According to new single-family January permit data by county, released by the Census Bureau, the counties with the largest numbers of single-family permits issued during 2011 were El Paso, Douglas, Weld and Denver.

See here for recent posts about building permits.

New single-family permits during January 2012
El Paso 127
Douglas 108
Weld 74
Denver 60

Adams 40
Arapahoe 43
Boulder 23
Broomfield 14
Chaffee 7
Elbert 1
Jefferson 45
Larimer 44
Mesa 22
Park 4
Pueblo 9
Routt 2
Teller 1

(Note: All permits discussed in this article are single-family permits.)

However, when permit totals are adjusted to the number of existing housing units in each county, the counties with the larges amounts of permit activity were Douglas, Weld and Chaffee counties.

The first map shows the relative amount of single-family permit activity adjusted for the existing size of the housing stock in each county. The counties are then broken out in quartiles reflecting the amount of single-family activity compared to other counties. The top quartile has the largest amount of new permitting compared to the number of existing units. The bottom quartile has the smallest amount.

Top Q: Brown
2nd Q: Green
3rd Q: Orange
Bottom Q: Yellow
No data or no permits: White

During January 2012, the areas with relatively few new single-family permits relative to the size of the existing stock are Pueblo, Jefferson, Arapahoe and Boulder counties.

In a larger context, single-family permits remain well below totals experienced prior to 2007. From 2006 to 2008, single-family permits in the state decreased 60 percent from 31,000 to 12,000. Permit activity appears to have bottomed out in 2009. When discussing permit activity from 2008 to the present time, we're looking at permit totals that are near 20-year lows.

See here for a discussion on historical permit data by county.

It is also helpful to see which counties have shown the largest increases and decreases in permit activity. In the map below, we see that comparing January 2011 to Janaury 2012, Adams, Boulder and Douglas counties, with increases of 100 percent or more, were the counties with the largest increases in single-family permit activity. Chaffee, Denver, El Paso, Jefferson and Weld Counties all reported year over year increases of more than 40 percent.

Brown: Increase of 25 percent or more*
Green: Increase of 1 to 24.9 percent**
Orange: Decrease of 1 to 24.9 percent
Yellow: Decrease of 25 percent or more
White: No data or no change

*I have included Broomfield County in the "brown" category, due to its increasefrom 0 to 14 permits, year over year. Technically, a rate of increase cannot be calculated mathematicall from a starting point of zero.
**I also included Teller county in the "green" category for its increase from 0 to 1.
*** The number of permits in Routt County was unchanged at 2, year over year.

Largest increases among metro counties:
Adams 100 percent
Boulder 109 percent
Douglas 125 percent