COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - Housing starts are down, but the demand is sharply higher for new home building permits. In Branch County, building permits are up considerably from last year, a 79% increase in activity last month as compared to May of 2011.
National Association of Realtors spokesman Walter Moloney says these numbers can be volatile month to month. The Commerce Department reports groundbreaking for new homes fell four-point-eight percent in May to an annual rate of just over 700-thousand units. However, permits for building homes jumped nearly eight percent, beating expectations. Analysts say it's another sign the housing market is gradually improving.