State: New home building continues dismal 2017 trend in Connecticut

New housing permits issued by Connecticut communities in March fell 38.6 percent over the same period in 2016, officials with the state Department of Economic and Community Development said Thursday.

There were 326 new housing permits issued last month, compared to 531 in March 2016. The March housing data added to what already a dismal first quarter for new home builders, said Donald Klepper-Smith, chief economist and director of research for New Haven-based DataCore Partners.

“It’s definitely a trend to be concerned about,” Klepper-Smith said about the new housing permit data. Over the first three months of this year, first-quarter housing permit activity was down nearly 29 percent from the same period a year ago.

Connecticut’s new home business is being hurt by a number of economic factors, he said.

“The labor markets are under siege,” Klepper-Smith said. “We’re not creating jobs and we’re not creating income growth.”

Housing permits are considered a key economic indicator, he said, because when people move into new homes or condominiums, “they need new refrigerators, they need new television sets and other durable goods.”

“This is going to trickle down and ultimately impact sales tax revenue for the state,” Klepper-Smith said.

Permits issued for muilti-family housing of five units or more were slightly higher than single-family homes, according to the DECD.

Stamford issued 116 housing permits, the largest amount of activity among any of the 128 cities and towns reporting data in March. Milford came in second with 22 housing permits issued, followed by Clinton with 21.

Call Luther Turmelle at 203-680-9388.