Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Douglas, Weld Counties top counties for new single-family permits in 2012

Of the 2,977 new single-family permits issued during the first four months of 2012, 1,718 of them, or 57 percent, were issued in El Paso, Weld, Douglas and Larimer counties alone. According to new single-family February permit data by county, released by the Census Bureau, the counties with the largest numbers of single-family permits issued during the first four months of 2012 were El Paso, Douglas, Weld and Larimer, with El Paso reporting more single-family permits during the period than any other county.

See here for recent posts about building permits.

New single-family permits during January-April 2012
El Paso 609
Douglas 464
Weld 344
Larimer 301

Adams 196
Arapahoe 230
Boulder 68
Broomfield 68
Chaffee 36
Elbert 12
Jefferson 207
Mesa 105
Park 13
Pueblo 44
Routt 11
Teller 12

(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.These three counties have reported the highest permitting rate for several months.

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: Tan
No data or zero permits: White

During the first four months of 2012, the metro counties with relatively few new single-family permits relative to the size of the existing stock are Pueblo, Jefferson, Arapahoe, Denver 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, even in areas that report substantial increases, we're looking at permit totals that are near 20-year lows.However, growth rates during 2012 so far has been greater than what has been seen in recent years.

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-April 2011 to January-April 2012, several metro counties reported year-over-year increases of 50 percent or more. No metro counties reported decreases.

Brown: Increase of 50 percent or more
Green: Increase of 1 to 49.9 percent
Orange: Decrease of 1 to 49.9 percent
Tan: Decrease of 50 percent or more
White: No data or no change.

Largest increases among metro counties:
Denver 58 percent
Weld 86 percent
Douglas 172 percent