Tampa Bay homebuilding up since COVID-19 pandemic
Nearly 55 new homebuilding permits per 100,000 residents were issued in Tampa Bay in May 2023, up from 47 in May 2020 — the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Of the 2,007 total permits, 768 were issued for single-family homes, 27 for buildings with two to four units, and 1,212 for those with five or more units, per a new analysis of Census Bureau data from Axios' Kavya Beheraj and Alex Fitzpatrick.
The big picture: Nationwide, 42.3 new homebuilding permits per 100,000 residents were issued in May 2023, up from 32.9 in May 2020.
Why it matters: A post-pandemic nationwide housing shortage is keeping prices high.
- Recent estimates from Freddie Mac indicate the U.S. is short about 3.8 million units of housing, either for rent or purchase, Axios' Emily Peck reports.
- A bump in new home construction, however, could bring prices down — it's basic supply and demand.
By the numbers: In May 2023, 139,600 total permits were issued across the U.S. — the majority of which (88,900) were for single-family homes.
- Nearly 46,000 were issued for buildings with five or more units, and nearly 5,000 for those with between two and four units.
Zoom in: Some cities are seeing a significant explosion in new home construction as a post-pandemic reality takes hold.
- In Raleigh, for example, 138 new permits per 100,000 residents were issued in May 2023, up from 71.7 in May 2020.
State of play: While many newly built homes have been targeted at (and thus priced for) relatively wealthier buyers, homebuilders are starting to focus on more affordable projects for first-time homebuyers, per Axios' Matt Phillips.
What they're saying: "It's a renewed focus, given the lack of inventory," Robert Dietz, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders, told Phillips.
- "First-time buyers are going to play a key role in the order expansion for homebuilders going forward."
Yes, but: There's little sign of a Levittown-style surge of modest-home construction to magically solve the inventory problem any time soon, Phillips writes.
- Plus, even if costs come down, mortgage rates remain relatively high.
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