There has been better news for our region in recent months than in the last decade: unemployment rates continue to go down; home prices are stabilizing; we are in fact adding jobs at a faster pace than the U.S. average. New data on residential building permits from SEMCOG also show the evidence of economic recovery in the region. Here are some highlights:
- A 25 percent increase over 2010. The region finished 2011 with a total of 4,209 new residential building permits issued.
- A net gain of 856 units in 2011, after accounting for a total of 3,353 demolition permits issued in 2011. The region had experienced net losses of residential units in the past three years.
- The City of Detroit continues to lead in the region in terms of total residential construction permits issued with 488.
It is nice to see building permits increased two years in a row, although the amount is nowhere near where it used to be – over 20,000 each year (see the figure below). It is a nice rebound, but no booming in sight. We currently have 216,000 vacant housing units in the region; this is more than double the amount of vacant units in 2000 (107,000). It will take more time to see demand exceeding supply in the housing market. Just like the key message from our new regional forecast: we are rebounding from a deep recession, but the recovery will take a long time.
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