State-by-State: Permits

  • After double-digit rates of year-over-year decline in April and May as a result of the pandemic, monthly US Housing Unit Permits snapped back in June (up 11.7% from one year ago) and July (up 14.0%).
  • The ITR Checking Points™ system suggests that further accelerating growth is probable in at least the near term.
  • The Southeast, Midwest, and Southwest reported double-digit year-over-year gains in monthly permits in both June and July. The Northeast came close to reaching this threshold, with June permitting activity up 11.8% versus one year ago and July activity up 8.8%.
  • Conversely, permits in the Mountain region were below the year-ago level in June and only modestly (6.2%) above the year-ago level in July. The West region has not seen permitting activity rise above year-ago levels since the onset of the pandemic.

Reader's Forum

What is the likely economic impact of the recent West Coast wildfires and East and Gulf Coast hurricanes? How do you account for events like these in your forecasts?

Sara Aybar, Economist at ITR Economics™, answers:

We expect the fires and hurricanes will have demonstrable impacts on the cities and, to a lesser degree, the states involved. We have learned from prior fires and hurricanes that effects tend to diminish as distance from the “area of impact” increases. The fires and hurricanes color our expectations for the economies involved in proportion to the anticipated magnitude of disruption. Please keep in mind that rebuilding follows destruction; often, one person’s loss will – thanks to funding via insurance, the government, or philanthropy – become a job or project for someone else.

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