Residential Construction Booms in These Ten Cities

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Robison Wells
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The massive boom in residential construction remains in the news, even with a slowdown at the beginning of 2021. Most anticipate the market to stay strong throughout the remaining year.

This week Realtor.com released results from a new study conducted to examine the origin of residential construction growth. According to the study, most growth occurred in the South and the West. These areas historically have strong job growth, good economies, and, often, lower costs of living.

2020’s troubles and record low mortgage rates have strengthened the trend. A recent, big move from cities to suburbs, particularly by those with white-collar jobs who can work remotely, has impacted the market.

“Builders are looking to grow wherever they can right now,” says Rick Palacios Jr., an analyst with John Burns Real Estate Consulting in the Realtor.com press release. “COVID has ignited demand in markets where there wasn’t a lot of demand before.”

Read the list of the top ten cities for residential housing growth based on the number of permits below:

1. Dallas, TX. 11,636 permits. Dallas saw permits go up 23% since this same time last year.

2. New York, NY. 9,097 permits. This may seem deceptive because it’s a major city, but New York has vast city limits. Contractors are filing permits for surrounding suburbs and on Long Island.

3. Phoenix, AZ. 8,614 permits. Phoenix’s growth comes from large amounts of open land. Hence, lot prices remain low.

4. Washington, DC. 5,795 permits. This city can’t grow much outside its boundaries. Hence, it must get denser. Still, permits were up 30% over last year.

5. Atlanta, GA. 5,721 permits. Atlanta is known for its sprawl. That trend stands poised to continue.

6. Los Angeles, CA. 5,306 permits. Like New York, Los Angeles finds a place on the list due to large city limits. New growth is coming in backyard homes.

7. Seattle, WA. 5,169 permits. Amazon and Microsoft help Seattle to check the booming economy box. But it is an outlier in that home prices are astronomical.

8. Philadelphia, PA. 4,653 permits. Philly has become the place to which New Yorkers transplant; it shows a 52% rise in permits.

9. Charlotte, NC. 4,359 permits. Realtor.com cites a massive influx from New York and California as Boomers retire and Millennials buy.

10. Tampa, FL. 4,251 permits. Growth here moves so fast that there are waiting lists to even buy a lot. Condos under construction are 70% sold out.

People transplanting to these cities means certain areas—big cities with poor economies—will have more homes go up for sale with lower prices. However, the upward trajectory continues for the ten cities on this list.

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