Homebuilders set record for permits last year

REAL ESTATE WATCH

March 12, 2000

Despite increasing mortgage rates and a sluggish fourth quarter in 1999, home construction continued to climb nationally last year as homebuilders set a record for single-family permits with 1,231,800.

According to a report released by U.S. Housing Markets, a division of the Meyers Group, the record single-family permit mark was a 4 percent increase over 1998.

The fourth quarter of 1999 was the first since the second quarter of 1998 that a single-family construction record was not broken. Builders recorded 266,466 single-family permits in the fourth quarter, a 4 percent decrease from the same period in 1998.

"Increasing mortgage rates have slowed housing construction, which should help cool the economy down to a sustainable level," said John Burns, principal with the Meyers Group.

According to the Meyers Group, 39 metropolitan areas reported more than 10,000 permits. Five of the 10 largest single-family housing markets set annual single-family permit records: Atlanta; Dallas; Las Vegas; Minneapolis; and Charlotte, N.C.

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