Permits and Completions

Residential Building Permits and Estimated Completions by Type

Any analysis of housing markets and development activity must consider new housing supply. Housing strategies revolve around issues such as having enough housing in the pipeline being developed of a certain type. Since demand for housing can change quickly and supply is slow to respond, planning responses should be based up knowing what types of construction is being proposed and what has recently been completed. When housing affordability issues arise, these supply considerations take on greater importance.

Housing supply is typically estimated in two ways. One is to measure building permit activity and apply an assumption on how many houses are likely to be built in the future. Another is to look at housing completions to provide a timeline in how long the building process takes once the entitlement and construction process is done. The link below provides data on building permits by jurisdiction (and counties) by housing type estimated by the US Census Bureau. The link also includes estimated housing completions calculated by noting the annual change in the estimated number of housing units recorded by the Washington Office of Financial Management.

Residential Building Permits and Completions Data Sheet