Wake County new home permits rise 14% in January compared to previous yea

Nationally, housing starts in January fell 16 percent

The January cold weather didn’t seem to slow much the pace of new home construction in the Triangle, based on the number of building permits issued in Wake County throughout the month.

Wake County and its municipalities issued 488 new residential permits in January, according to a county report, which was down from a pace of 516 permits per month in 2013 but up 14 percent compared to the same month the year prior.

The number of building permits issued for new housing, a harbinger of future building activity, was nearly double in Apex, Garner and in unincorporated areas of the county, but permits were down in Wake Forest, Rolesville and Morrisville compared to the year prior.
On a dollar level, the value of the new homes permitted increased 13 percent to $104.8 million in January.

For year-end 2013, Wake County building permits increased 28 percent in the new residential category and declined 17 percent in the new commercial building category. Building permit values grew 34 percent to $1.3 billion of new residential construction and increased 5 percent to $621 million in new commercial construction in 2013.

Nationally, housing starts in January fell 16 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 880,000 units in January, according to the figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Cold weather clearly put a chill on new home construction last month and this is also reflected in our latest builder confidence survey,” stated Kevin Kelly, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders and a builder from Wilmington, Del., in a news release following the HUD report. “Further, builders continue to face other obstacles, including rising materials prices and a lack of buildable lots and labor.”

NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe noted also, however, that single-family permits have held relatively steady the last few months. “The less-weather-sensitive permits data suggests that our forecast for solid growth in single-family housing production in 2014 remains on track, as pent-up housing demand is unleashed.

Amanda Jones Hoyle covers commercial and residential real estate for Triangle Business Journal.