Building permit activity for 2022 was quite consolidated, with the majority of the activity in the Sunbelt or Intermountain states. The 10 largest markets (see chart on page 3) account for 33% of all single-family building permits, while the Top 25 metros account for more than half the permits. The Top 50 metros account for an estimated 70% of all activity.
Builders in the three Texas markets ranked in the Top 10 pulled a crazy number of combined permits —111,331 single-family permits. The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX, MSA (47,633 permits) led the state’s Big Three, followed by Dallas-Fort Worth, Arlington, TX, MSA (43,409 permits); and Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX, MSA (20,289 permits). Add in San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX, MSA (10,173 permits), and these four metros alone account for more than 121,000 single-family permits. These four Texas MSAs together had more single-family permits than any other entire state except for Florida, which had 133,750 single-family permits for 2022.
While many of the Sunbelt’s larger MSAs logged some impressive permit totals last year, several smaller and medium-sized markets actually grew faster. You can use the Housing Hotness Index to compare large and small markets in terms of building activity. To level the playing field when comparing smaller market areas to the nation’s largest MSAs, this index ranks metros based on the number of single-family permits per 1,000 residents. It’s interesting to note that seven MSAs in Florida ranked in the Top 10 in the Housing Hotness Index — The Villages; Punta Gorda; North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton; Lakeland-Winter Haven; Cape Coral-Fort Myers; Naples-Marco Island; and Port St. Lucie. Rounding out the Top 10 in the Housing Hotness Index were Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX; Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC; and Provo-Orem, UT.