Home Building Geography Index (HBGI)

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The Home Building Geography Index (HBGI) is a quarterly measurement of building conditions across the country and uses county-level information about single- and multifamily permits to gauge housing construction growth in various submarkets.

The count of building permits helps illustrate residential construction’s current production levels. The index is measured as the population-adjusted level of permits, benchmarked against 2003 production levels. The population adjustment modifies the benchmark amount of production necessary to keep up with a changing number of households.

View the HBGI third quarter 2019 findings below, or download the data file here.

National Permit Levels of Single-Family and Multifamily

As of the third quarter of 2019, single-family permit activity, adjusted for population, registered at 57% of the 2003 first quarter level. This share of single-family permit activity increased from the second quarter of 2019, where it rounded to 56% of the 2003 first quarter level.

Additionally, multifamily permit activity, adjusted for population was at 105% of the first quarter of 2003 level. This is a steep increase from the 2019 second quarter level.

Single Family and Multifamily Construction

2019 Q2 Single and Multifamily Construction

Millennial Area Building Conditions

Beginning with the third quarter of 2019, NAHB classified the top quartile of counties in the U.S. based on the share of Millennials. These are counties with 26% or more of local population consisting of Millennials. NAHB tracked single-family and multifamily growth rates (not seasonally adjusted) and market shares for these areas, as well as the remaining 75% of counties.

Millennial Areas

Total population 202,280,704; 61.8% of total U.S. population

Millennial Counties SF
  • 58.8% of single-family construction for 3Q19
  • -2.4% single-family quarterly growth rate for the 3Q19
  • 3.6% single-family growth rate year-over-year (3Q19 vs 3Q18)
  • -2.4% single-family 4-quarter MA of the year-over-year growth rate
Millennial Counties MF
  • 79.9% of multifamily construction for 3Q19
  • 9.1% multifamily quarterly growth rate for the 3Q19
  • 25.5% multifamily year-over year growth rate (3Q19 vs 3Q18)
  • 6.5% multifamily 4-quarter MA of the year-over-year growth rate

Manufacturing Area Building Conditions

From the second quarter of 2019, NAHB classified all counties in the U.S. into manufacturing vs. non-manufacturing, based on the share of local employment associated with the manufacturing sector. For each area, NAHB tracked single-family and multifamily growth rates (not seasonally adjusted) and market shares.

Manufacturing Areas

Total population 43,550,904; 13.7% of total U.S. population

  • 10.1% of single-family construction for 3Q19
  • -5.2% single-family quarterly growth rate for the 3Q19
  • 2.2% single-family growth rate year-over-year (3Q19 vs 3Q18)
  • -3.1% single-family 4-quarter MA of the year-over-year growth rate

Manufacturing Counties

Map showing 2019 quarter 2 growth rate in manufacturing counties.
  • 6.3% of multifamily construction for 3Q19
  • 12.7% multifamily quarterly growth rate for the 3Q19
  • -6.2% multifamily year-over year growth rate (3Q19 vs 3Q18)
  • -4.0% multifamily 4-quarter MA of the year-over-year growth rate

The Home Building Geography Index is the successor to the Leading Market Index (LMI), whose tracking is no longer maintained. The LMI used single-family housing permits, employment, and home prices to measure proximity to a normal economic and housing market. It was calculated for 337 local markets, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), as well as the entire country. View an archive of LMI data with its original methodology.

Regional Building Growth Conditions

Starting with the first quarter of 2019, when the Home Building Geography Index was first unveiled, NAHB classified all counties in the U.S. as one of seven regional categories based on population density and regional location. For each area, NAHB tracked single-family and multifamily growth rates (not seasonally adjusted) and market shares. These categories include: