Residential Building Permit Activity by U.S. Metropolitan Area: Key Agents of Change

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Augustin Misago (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Keith Debbage

Abstract: Housing construction is considered a key parameter of the overall health of the U.S economy. Spatially, housing represents the largest single urban land use of most metropolitan areas encompassing about 35 to 45 percent of land in most cities. Based on a statistical analysis of U.S. Census data, and others sources, this dissertation provides answers to questions of why and how residential building permit distribution varies across the nation and what key determinant factors influence the geography of housing supply. This dissertation hypothesizes that in any given U.S. metropolitan area the amount of new privately owned housing units authorized by building permits per 1000 can be explained by a combination of three major groups of variables that includes: a group of indicators that measure the overall health and mix of the metropolitan economy, the effects of existing housing characteristics on supply and demand, and a mix of socio-demographic variables that trigger housing demand. The purpose of this dissertation project was twofold. First, this dissertation attempted to disentangle the fundamental contemporary growth patterns of housing markets by examining the spatial distribution of residential building permits by metropolitan area. Second, based on a statistical analysis of data, the most prominent economic, housing and socio-demographic characteristics that most significantly shape housing demand were to be isolated in an attempt to uncover the key triggers of residential development growth across the nation. The findings suggested that the most important variables that shaped building permit activity included the percent of the 2005 population attributed to net migration from 2000 to 2005, the percent housing vacancy rate, the percent of housing units built between 1990 and 2004, the percent population employed in health care and social assistance, and the percent elderly. Additionally, two regions of the country dominated residential housing market activity in 2005, and these included the South Atlantic region especially the Florida and Carolinas metropolitan areas, and some relatively isolated Rocky Mountain metroplitan areas. However, the Northeast and the Midwest metropolitan markets experienced below average permitting rates.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2008
Housing, Building Permits, Metropolitan Area
Building permits--United States.
Metropolitan areas--United States.
Housing development--United States.

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