Accentuate the Conspicuous
Honestly, I’m not always looking to accentuate the negative, when it comes to Rhode Island. It’s just important for us to have a clear picture of what’s going on (going wrong) with our state. Consider Lynn Arditi’s coverage of the decreasing demand for building permits:
Rhode Island’s new home construction slowed last year, with the number of single-family building permits falling 9 percent for the second straight year, according to a report from the Rhode Island Builders Association.
There were 1,458 single-family building permits issued in the state last year, compared with 1,606 permits in 2006. The permits are a rough proxy for new home construction.
Rhode Island’s slowdown in single-family building is far less severe than in the rest of New England, where single-family building permits last year declined an average of 23 percent, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
Nationally, single-family permits last year declined 29 percent from 2006, the national association reported.
Doesn’t sound so bad for Rhode Island, does it? Read on:
Unlike the rest of the country, Rhode Island’s new home construction has been falling every year since 2000. Even during the national housing boom, single-family building permits in the state declined. In all, permits during the last 7 years in the state have fallen 35.4 percent, according to the Rhode Island Builders Association.
So what’s the seven year number for “the rest of the country”? I don’t know, but given the real estate trends that this decade has seen, I find the perennial decrease to be surprising. Do “single-family building permits” include only new construction or renovations, as well?