Residential Building Permits Summary
According to the latest data from the US Bureau of the Census on housing units authorized by building permits, New Jersey had 1,177 units approved for construction in February. This is 872 fewer permits than the 2,049 issued in February 2014. This decline occurred because fewer approvals were issued for units in multi-family (-716 units or -53.6%) and single-family (-156 units or -21.9%) structures in the current year.
Over the month, the number of housing units authorized for construction declined by 491 units or 29.4 percent compared with January 2015’s revised total of 1,668. Declines took place in approvals of multi-family (-269 units or -30.2%) and single-family (-222 units or -28.5%) residences. The sharp over-the-month decline was largely due to a relatively cold and snowy February which followed a mild January. The cold weather impeded construction of houses already in the pipeline and dissuaded prospective buyers from venturing out to look at properties. This lessened the need for builders to obtain more permits. Of the units for which permits were issued in February, 52.8 percent (621) were multi-family and 47.2 percent (556) were single-family.
Ocean County led the state with the most issuances of building permits with a total of 202. Of these, 126 were for single-family houses and 76 were for units in multi-family structures. Toms River Township accounted for more than half the county’s approvals with a total of 108 units, including 72 multi-family residences and 36 single-family houses.
In second place was Bergen County where 127 units were authorized, including 98 single-family houses and 29 units in multi-family structures. Leading the county in authorizations was Lyndhurst Township with a total of 24 units, all in multi-family housing. The remainder of approvals were scattered across the other 69 municipalities in the county.
The third-ranking county was Morris, with a total of 104 approvals, including 55 single-family houses and 49 multi-family residences. The municipality with the most authorizations was Denville Township with 30 units, all single-family houses. Tied for fourth place among the state’s 21 counties were Essex and Union with a total of 96 units each. In Essex County, permits were issued for 85 multi-family units and 11 single-family houses. The leading municipality in the county was City of Orange Township with a total of 42 units, all in multi-family housing. Union County approved the construction of 74 multi-family residences and 22 single-family houses. The municipalities with the most authorizations were Elizabeth (22), followed by Fanwood (17) and Cranford Township (16). All of the units permitted in Elizabeth were in multi-family structures. In Fanwood, one single-family house and 16 multi-family units were approved while Cranford Township authorized 15 multi-family residences and one single-family house.
Nationally, the issuance of building permits on a not seasonally adjusted basis rose by 7,514 or 10.7 percent over the month from 70,025 in January 2015 to 77,539 in February 2015. Across the United States, building permits were up over the year by 7,033 or 10.0 percent from February 2014. For the month of February 2015, single-family houses accounted for 56.1 percent of the units authorized, while 43.9 percent were multi-family.
Ocean County authorized the most residences so far this year (396 units). This county, located along the Atlantic Coast benefited from approvals to replace houses lost from Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 as well as from continued strong demand for vacation and retirement homes. The county also led the state in permitting of single-family houses. Of the units authorized, 288 were single-family and 108 were multi-family.
The northern part of the state remains an important driver of housing construction in the state as the second through fourth-ranking counties (Bergen, Union and Hudson) combined approved 886 units and were responsible for 31.1 percent of the statewide total.
Bergen County issued permits for 327 units, including 223 multi-family residences and 104 single-family houses. In Union County, 281 units were proposed, including 238 multi-family residences and 43 single-family houses. Hudson County authorized 278 units including 179 in multi-family housing and 99 single-family houses.
Across the United States, 148,355 units were authorized on a not seasonally adjusted basis year-to-date through February 2015. This represents a gain of 12,201 or 9.0 percent over the level of February 2014 (136,154). Through February 2015, 58.8 percent of the units authorized were single-family. The remaining 41.2 percent were multi-family.
Detailed residential building permit data for New Jersey, its counties, as well as all 565 municipalities are available from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development on the Internet (http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/lpa/LMI_index.html).