Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Utah Year-To-Date Construction Permitting Activity Update

Four months of 2012 construction permitting data are now available from the University of Utah’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research. Although early-in-the-year construction permitting data can be fickle (construction data tends to be among the most erratic economic indicators), there appears some early signs of life in new residential construction. Statewide, January to April 2012 home permits bounced up 24 percent compared with the same time frame last year. On the other hand, new nonresidential permit values are down 43 percent year-to-year. As you look at this data, remember that permitted-values change rapidly—particularly when it comes to commercial building and these early figures may be reflect large percent changes which will evaporate as more permitting occurs. Here are a few other interesting points from this data release:

  • Rapid employment expansion in the oil and gas fields of the Uintah Basin seems to be spurring new home demands from workers. Uintah County showed the most rapid expansion in new home permits.
  • Among heavily-populated counties, Davis County shows the most home-permitting improvement.
  • Washington County’s permits are up 21 percent from last year—its best performance since the recent housing bubble collapsed.
  • On the nonresidential side, new projects in the eastern half of the state are driving large gains in permit values. Morgan, Sanpete, Garfield, and Box Elder counties also showed strong residential permitting gains. 

For detailed construction permit data, click here.