What are we measuring?
New residential buildings permits as measured here represent the number of privately-owned residential units permitted for construction by all permit-issuing jurisdictions in Fulton County per quarter. New residential building permits are compiled and reported monthly by the U.S Census Bureau for many of the nation's counties.
Why are we measuring it?
The housing market is generally thought to be one of the first economic sectors to be affected by changing economic conditions. The issuing of housing permits can be an early indicator of the housing market. New residential housing generally leads to other types of economic production driven by the demand by new home-owners for consumer goods such as furniture and home appliances. Some caution is warranted in using building permits as an indicator because permitting does not always result in actual construction and construction does not always lead to immediate sales.
How are we doing?
The number of residential units permitted in the four years preceding the recession (2003 - 2006) averaged about 16,000 per year before rebounding in 2010. Fulton County ranked second among all benchmark counties in 2016 in the number of permits issued but fell to fifth place in 2017 after a 30 percent drop in permits. Though the number of permitted units increased by over a thousand to just over 9,000 in 2018, Fulton remains fifth among its national benchmark counties, permitting only half as many units as Travis County, Texas in 2018.