Permit Activity Continues to Surge as Homebuying Demand Continues

The Building Industry Association of Clark County (BIA) reports another month of surging permit activity in Clark County. Single-family residential (SFR) and town home permits are seeing large gains when looking at year-over-year and annual total data tables published by Clark County’s Community Development Department.

This year, 98 SFR permits were issued in April, compared to the 51 SFR permits in April 2020. The BIA is anticipating 2021’s permit issuance totals to meet or exceed the 2020 total of 1,121 SFR permits issued.

Avaly Scarpelli, BIA’s Executive Director states, “The increase in permit activity for April is likely due to the work stoppage during the same time last year. Because the governor neglected to classify housing construction as ‘essential’ under the first Stay-at-Home order, our members were more concerned with finding ways to keep their employees on payroll last April. It’s hard to submit and receive processed permits when so there’s so much uncertainty, and the county’s staff had to adapt processes to the new virtual environment; there was a significant learning curve and a backlog as a result of the governor’s judgement error.”

A more interesting finding, however, is the number of town home permits processed this year compared to April 2020. Last year, zero permits were issued, whereas April 2021 saw an issuance of 37 town home permits.

In a recently released Housing Trends Report from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), 16% of adults are planning to buy a home in the next twelve months – up from 10% year-over-year. Among that group of prospective buyers, 42% are looking to buy a newly built home and 30% an existing home. This growth is driven primarily by millennials, whose interest doubled from 16% in the first quarter of 2020 to 32% in the first quarter of 2021.

Scarpelli adds, “Many of our builder members are focusing on meeting the demand for more affordable housing options, especially for millennials entering the housing market for the first-time. Members report newly built town homes are especially popular among this younger demographic because these homes are generally more affordable, more energy efficient, and lower-maintenance than an a newly-built SFR or existing home.”