Home building industry officials concerned about trends hampering Michigan's recovery

Michigan is seeing the largest increase in people who want to build homes since the recession.

HUDSONVILLE, MICH. - The U.S. Census Bureau shows a total of 15,176 permits were issued in Michigan for new home construction in 2016. That represents an increase of 11.7 percent over the total of 13,581 permits issued the previous year.

According to a press release, the 2016 year-end total represent the highest number of new home permits issued in Michigan during a calendar year since the pre-recession year of 2006.

Though home builders are pleased with the double digit increase and the continuing modest recovery from the recession, the 2016 housing permit totals are some 1,700 lower than had been predicted at the start of the year by the Home Builders Association of Michigan.

"It really is a mixed bag for our home builders," said HBAM CEO Bob Filka in the release. "We are most pleased to see real growth which is good not only for our home builders, but also for local communities and schools that depend on the revenue generated by new construction."

The annual HBAM housing forecast for 2017, issued on January 6 estimates 16,515 single-family home permits will be issued across the state, which would represent an 8.8 percent increase. Rising oil costs and an expected slowdown in auto sales may add to market concerns for the home building industry.

The release states another key indicator of the health of the housing market is also on the upswing.

The average price of a new home in Michigan in 2016 increased 5.8 percent to $154,133. That's the highest level since the pre-recession year of 2005.

"The increase in home sales prices is good news for homeowners seeing their values coming back after being beaten down during the recession," continued Filka. "It is also a bit of a double-edged sword in that rising costs are starting to price many middle class families out of the housing market, which is something we all must be concerned about."

For more information, visit the Home Builders Association of Michigan website.

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