Single-family building permits for new construction in the United States, the Southern region, and statewide in Alabama all increased in October of 2018 compared to last month and last year. Alabama saw the largest percent change compared to October of last year, experiencing an increase of 6.3 percent to 1,039 units. Similarly, Alabama had the largest year-to-date percent change, experiencing a 9.1 percent increase compared to last year. The five metro areas that have the largest building permits year-to-date are: Huntsville, Birmingham-Hoover, Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, Auburn-Opelika, and Mobile. ACRE’s October 2018 new construction report can be found here.
Huntsville: The Huntsville metropolitan area has the largest total of single family building permits year-to-date. Huntsville has 2,420 permits, which is 12.7 percent above the YTD total of 2,148 from October 2017. Huntsville new construction saw strong improvements compared to October 2017. Total new construction sales increased 12.4 percent, while the new construction median sales price increased 3.7 percent, equaling $280,220 in October of this year. With how hot the Huntsville market has been, it will be interesting to see how the new construction trend continues.
Birmingham-Hoover: The Birmingham-Hoover area came in second, totaling 2,255 permits YTD. However, the total number of permits actually decreased 3.2 percent compared to 2,330 permits YTD in October 2017. Birmingham saw a similar month-over-month decline compared to September 2018. While there was some negative, there was more positive data with the Birmingham new construction. Compared to October 2017, new construction total sales increased 23.9 percent, while new construction median sales price increased 11.5 percent, topping out at $277,500.
Daphne-Fairhope-Foley: This area came in third in YTD building permits, totaling 1,699. Compared to October 2017 YTD, that is a 13.4 percent increase in total permits. New construction homes have been very popular in the Baldwin County area, as the total units available was down 31.8 percent, or 276 units compared to 868 in October 2017. Median sales price only slightly increased, equaling $240,830 for October 2018.
Auburn-Opelika: Auburn-Opelika had 904 building permits YTD in October 2018, which was an 8.8 percent increase compared to the 831 permits in October 2017. However, Auburn saw a month-over-month decrease in building permits of 5.5 percent when compared to September 2018. Notwithstanding, the Lee County new construction market has been strong. The average sales price for a new construction home was $310,526 in October 2018, a 5.2 percent increase from October of last year.
Mobile: Last but not least, Mobile YTD building permits in October 2018 came in at 571 permits, an increase of 4.2 percent from last year. Moreover, Mobile saw a significant jump in month-over-month building permits, seeing a percent change of 20.4 percent. Although the average sales price for a new construction home dropped 11.8 percent year-over-year to $224,412, October new construction sales were up 31.3 percent from one year ago.