Permits at highest level since 2006. Home prices up 5.8 percent in 2016. Homebuilding industry officials concerned about trends hampering Michigan’s housing recovery
LANSING, MI —Final numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show that a total of 15,176 permits were issued in Michigan for new home construction in 2016, which represents an increase of 11.7% over the total of 13,581 permits issued the previous year. The 2016 year-end total represent the highest number of new home permits issued in Michigan during a calendar year since the pre-recession year of 2006 (16,538). Though homebuilders are pleased with the double digit increase and the continuing modest recovery from the recession, the 2016 housing permit totals are some 1,700 lower than had been predicted at the start of the year by the Home Builders Association of Michigan (HBAM).
“It really is a mixed bad for our homebuilders,” said HBAM CEO Bob Filka. “We are most pleased to see real growth which is good not only for our home builders, but also for local communities and schools that depend on the revenue generated by new construction. However, we also recognize that the recovery could be much stronger than it is as homebuilders continue to be hampered by a shortage of skilled labor, lack of available building lots and rising building costs”
The annual HBAM housing forecast for 2017, issued on January 6 estimates 16,515 single-family home permits will be issued across the state, which would represent an 8.8 per cent increase. Rising oil costs and an expected slowdown in auto sales may add to market concerns for the homebuilding industry.
Another key indicator of the health of the housing market is also on the upswing. The average price of a new home in Michigan in 2016 increased 5.8 percent to $154,133. That is the highest level since the pre-recession year of 2005 ($151,309).
“The increase in home sales prices is good news for homeowners seeing their values coming back after being beaten down during the recession,” said Filka. “It is also a bit of a double-edge sword in that rising costs are starting to price many middle class families out of the housing market, which is something we all must be concerned about.”
HBAM and the 24 local Home Builders Associations in Michigan have joined forces to sponsor a series of nine regional summits designed to identify issues affecting the housing recovery. HBAM intends to use feedback from this listening tour to develop a series of proposals to strengthen homebuilding and local communities throughout Michigan.
“We intend to use these regional summits as a call-to-action which we hope will result in a more robust recovery for one of the most critical engines of our state’s economy,” said Filka. “Michigan needs its homebuilding recovery to lead our state’s growth and prosperity.”
Four regional summits have already taken place in Midland and Lansing. Other summits already scheduled include:
Monday, February 27, 2017
7:30 – 9:30 am
230 N Front Street
Marquette, MI 49855
Monday, March 6, 2017
7:30 – 9:30 am
3330 Highland Drive
Hudsonville, MI 49426