Jul 6, 2022 - Real Estate

Richmond among top 20 US cities in homebuilding

Illustration of a construction crane hook with a downward arrow instead of a hook.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Richmond ranked 19th on a list of the top 20 metro areas where homebuilding is thriving, per the latest analysis by real estate company Redfin.

What they found: RVA had 10.1 single-family building permits per 10,000 people in the first quarter of this year, the 19th-most per capita among U.S. metros.

Data: Redfin; Table: Thomas Oide/Axios
Data: Redfin; Table: Thomas Oide/Axios

Why it matters: Building more homes is one way to ease the affordability crisis as the number of homes for sale remains near all-time lows and monthly mortgage payments are near their record high.

Zoom out: Single-family and multifamily building permits are up from before the pandemic in most U.S. metros, Redfin found.

  • Of note: Redfin defines “single-family” as buildings with one to four housing units and “multifamily” as buildings with five or more housing units.

Zoom in: The metro’s single-family building may be lackluster, but Richmond ranks in the top 10 for multifamily permits in the same Redfin report, which experts say is crucial to addressing housing affordability.

  • In January through May 2022, more than half of the 4,604 building permits in metro Richmond were for multifamily buildings.

Yes, but: "There still aren’t enough homes to meet the pace of household creation, and we need to be more prepared when demand inevitably picks back up," said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather.

  • And investors continue to eat away at the housing supply, accounting for more than 25% of newly built home purchases in the fourth quarter, up from 3% two years earlier.

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