06-26-20 | Economic News

Housing Permits Have Good Month

Up 14.4%

As economic activity recovers, momentum in the housing market is expected to continue, buoyed by low interest rates, rising demand and an increase in mortgage applications.

Single-family permits saw an 11.9 percent gain in May, which the National Association of Homebuilders says is "a sign that the housing market continues to show forward momentum."

Overall permits had an even better performance with 14.4 percent growth as the multifamily sector increased 18.8 percent.

However, regionally, year-to-date, total permits are 14.8 percent lower in the Northeast, 6.2 percent lower in the Midwest, 2.7 percent lower in the West but 0.8 percent higher in the South.

"We are seeing many positive economic indicators that point to a recovery, including low interest rates, rising demand and an increase in mortgage applications," states NAHB C chairman Dean Mon. "Single-family and multifamily housing production are on an upward path while overall permits, which are a harbinger of future building activity, posted a double-digit gain."

NAHB chief economist Robert Dietz adds, "The May housing report is consistent with the positive results of the NAHB/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index, and we expect this momentum to continue as economic activity recovers. In another promising sign, single-family permits are up almost 2 percent on a year-to-date basis and builders are bringing back thousands of workers laid off in March and April to meet renewed demand."

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