New Residential Construction Outlook 2014
Fourth Quarter 2014
New residential construction, one of the leading economic predictors of the U.S. economy and real estate market, grew an estimated 5.7% in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to the fourth quarter 2013. Analysts at Carter Research, a division of Carter Machinery, investigated the fastest-growing construction markets in the Southeast states based on new construction permits issued and expenditure per capita. The results of the analysis can be viewed below.
- In 2014, Florida led the rankings with being the single state with the largest construction growth with over $7.46 billion spent in construction in the top five counties alone, with $1.73 billion of it spent in Q4.
- Wake County, NC is continuing to follow the same trend and has been leading the rankings with the highest number of single-family housing buildings authorized in 2014 with 6,307 building permits and 10,211 units permits authorized. 1,381 of the building permits and 2,671 of the unit permits were authorized in Q4. Wake County is home to Raleigh & Cary and was recently named by Forbes as the #1 Best Places for Business and Careers and Raising a Family and the #2 Fastest Growing Large U.S. City from 2010 to 2030.
- In Q4, Tennessee saw the largest increase of building permits over Q4 2013 with a 31% increase. However, South Carolina saw the largest increase in building permits year-over-year with a 11% increase in 2014.
- In the Southern region, the number of building permits authorized 2014 increased by 4.4% compared to 2013. In Q4 particularly, the number of building permits authorized 2014 increased by 4.4% compared to 2013.
Current Status of US Economy & Real Estate Market
In the fourth quarter of 2014, the U.S. economy increased at a rate of 2.2 percent as measured by an increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the fourth quarter 2013 [U.S. Census Bureau].
The GDP increase can be attributed to upturns in numerous factors such as personal consumption expenditures, state and local government spending, exports and residential fixed investments which increased home construction this quarter by 3.4% and put investment in single family residential investment back to being a top category for residential investment.
While home construction is up this quarter, the Southern* region of the United States in particular, saw a decrease of 6 percent in Q4 over Q3 for new private residential construction, as measured by the total number of units authorized.
Carter Machinery researched available construction building permit data on new privately-owned residential housing (single and multi-family residences), with the objective of discovering which southeastern states of the U.S. have grown and decreased their building needs from October 2014 through December 2014.
Data was collected from the United States Census Bureau at the end of December 2014. All information for counties in the states of Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida was gathered up through the data made available by the government.
Researchers then used the information to sort the data based on buildings and unit permits issued, as well as the overall value of all permits issued. Counties were then ultimately ranked based solely on value of permits issued for the fourth quarter of 2014 for this report.
Results of the Data
For each state, counties are ranked based on the data available for the total value in US Dollars (seasonally adjusted rate) of the permits issued for October 2014 through December 2014.
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
In Alabama, the top five gross performers for the fourth quarter of 2014 were:
- Jefferson County - $100,888,213.00
- Lee County - $51,166,269.00
- Shelby County - $39,661,108.00
- Autauga County - $7,727,088.00
- Chilton County - $5,157,600.00
Jefferson County was founded in 1819. Named after Thomas Jefferson, the country’s third President, Jefferson County is home to numerous opportunities for cultural learning and entertainment. The county is known for the state’s most popular attractions, including the Birmingham Zoo, the renowned Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame and the annual Southern Heritage Festival. The most populous county in Alabama, Jefferson County is home to nearly 700,000 residents and thousands of visitors each year.
In Florida, the top five gross performers for the fourth quarter of 2014 were:
- Orange County - $426,926,754.00
- Hillsborough County - $394,758,385.00
- Miami-Dade County - $342,159,883.00
- Palm Beach County - $338,982,930.00
- Lee County - $227,040,619.00
Orange County was founded in 1845 and is home to the biggest attractions and event opportunities in Central Florida. Boasting a population of 1,157,372 people and covering 903 square miles, Orange County is a bustling community featuring business, entertainment and educational opportunities, with much of the activity taking place in the city of Orlando. Orlando attracts millions of visitors every year, thanks to the close proximity to Disney theme parks, numerous beaches and entertainment opportunities.
In Georgia, the top five gross performers for the fourth quarter of 2014 were:
- Fulton County - $317,330,402.00
- Cobb County - $168,139,001.00
- Gwinnett County - $133,323,650.00
- Forsyth County - $98,960,261.00
- Cherokee County - $96,901,007.00
Fulton County was named after Robert Fulton, credited with building the first commercially successful steamboat. Home to Atlanta, the state’s capital, Fulton County has over 1 million residents and is the most populous county in the state. One big draw to the county is it’s educational system. Fulton County boasts some of the best schools in the state, along with outstanding public transportation and other public services. The county is also home to several of the state’s most popular attractions, including the Georgia Aquarium, Turner Field and the World of Coke.
In Kentucky, the top five gross performers for the third quarter of 2014 were:
- Jefferson County - $62,341,054.00
- Fayette County - $28,924,986.00
- Scott County - $11,967,222.00
- Boone County - $11,192,533.00
- Oldham County - $10,115,434.00
Jefferson County was established in 1870 and named after US President Thomas Jefferson while he was still a US Governor. Jefferson County is the most populated county in the state and his home to the state’s largest city, Louisville. The county has experienced tremendous growth since the year 2000, when population rates resulted in an increased demand for new construction for single family homes and multi-family housing. Jefferson County is also home to some of the most popular events and attractions in the area, including the Kentucky Derby, the Louisville Slugger Museum and the Speed Art Museum.
In Mississippi, the top five gross performers for the fourth quarter of 2014 were:
- DeSoto County - $25,831,710.00
- Lafayette County - $7,473,280.00
- Marshall County - $1,925,188.00
- Tate County - $1,908,325.00
- Wayne County - $374,000.00
Desoto County is the fastest growing county in Mississippi by population and has ranked #1 in new construction permits for several quarters in a row. Named for Hernando DeSoto, the Spanish Explorer credited with discovering the Mississippi River, DeSoto County is home to several popular local attractions that draw visitors from all over the state. Visitors regularly visit the area to enjoy the popular DeSoto County Museum, the Hernando DeSoto State Park and many of the county’s professionally ranked golf courses.
In North Carolina, the top five gross performers for the fourth quarter of 2014 were:
- Wake County - $410,505,535.00
- Mecklenburg County - $310,816,191.00
- Guilford County - $120,949,617.00
- New Hanover County - $107,606,750.00
- Brunswick County - $102,822,715.00
Wake County is home to the Research Triangle area, a rapidly expanding area of business and technology. The most populated county in the state, Wake County is home to several of the area’s most exciting areas, including Raleigh, Durham City, Cary, Chapel Hill and the outlying suburbs. These areas have experienced strong growth in the technology sector in the last decade, as business leaders have placed a strong focus on research and development funding. In addition to focusing on technology, Wake County has seen a renewed interested in the local workforce, helping to provide a valuable boost to local jobs and the economy. The county was recently recognized as the 9th fastest growing county in the US.
In South Carolina, the top five gross performers for the fourth quarter of 2014 were:
- Charleston County - $165,484,423.00
- Greenville County - $146,834,000.00
- York County - $145,822,714.00
- Lexington County - $84,265,475.00
- Dorchester County - $53,557,690.00
Charleston County was established in 1769 and is currently the third most populus county in the state. The most populous county in South Carolina, Charleston County is also the largest country by land and water areas. Charleston County is home to many water parks, marinas, day parks and beaches that are popular with residents and tourists. The county also includes several historically protected areas, including the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, Fort Sumter National Monument and the Francis Marion National Forest.
In Tennessee, the top five gross performers for the fourth quarter of 2014 were:
- Davidson County - $348,676,780.00
- Williamson County - $126,002,751.00
- Knox County - $85,088,306.00
- Rutherford County - $72,299,608.00
- Wilson County - $69,862,549.00
Davidson County is home to the county seat city of Nashville. The most populated county in Tennessee, Davidson County was named after William Lee Davidson, a notable North Carolina General. Nashville, the county’s largest city, is home to some of the country’s most popular music festivals, which regularly attract thousands of country, jazz and blues fans into the area every year. The city, located on the Cumberland River, is also home to many well-known cultural and educational institutions and has a population of 600,000 residents and growing. The majority of Davidson County is governed under the consolidated Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, while a few separate communities operate independently.
In Virginia, the top five gross performers for the fourth quarter of 2014 were:
- Loudoun County - $105,733,783.00
- Prince William County - $64,970,361.00
- Fairfax County - $62,651,421.00
- No county name specified - $59,752,664.00
- Chesterfield County - $49,210,025.00
Loudoun County is a strong economic player in the Washington Metropolitan area, thanks in part to the Washington Dulles Airport, located within the county. Since the airport opened in 1962, the area has experienced a high level of economic growth and expansion. Today, the county has one of the highest reported median incomes in the US, currently at $119,134. Since 2008, Loudoun County has been ranked #1 in US median income in area with 65,000 residents or more, and is expected to continue with this rate of growth well into the next decade. The increased growth in this county has resulted in more demand for multifamily and single family development in the larger metropolitan areas and smaller suburbs within the county.
In West Virginia, the top five gross performers for the fourth quarter of 2014 were:
- Berkeley County Unincorporated - $32,216,599.00
- Putnam County Unincorporated - $8,695,931.00
- Jefferson County - $5,512,826.00
- Greenbrier County Unincorporated - $4,123,088.00
- Raleigh County Unincorporated - $3,980,265.00
Berkeley is an unincorporated community in Berkeley County, West Virginia. The community began as Berkeley Station on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad line, but its name has since been shortened to Berkeley as it has become more of a bedroom community.
For the entirety of the Southeast (herein defined as consisting of the following states: Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia, Mississippi, South Carolina and North Carolina), the top ten gross performers for the fourth quarter of 2014 were:
Table 1. Top 10 Counties Ranked by Total Permit Cost in Q4 2014
|Rank||County||State||Total Permit Cost|
|6||Palm Beach County||FL||$338,982,930|
Table 2. Top 10 Counties Ranked by Total Permit Cost in 2014
|Rank||County||State||Total Permit Cost|
|6||Palm Beach County||FL||$1,197,366,102|
Table 3. Top County in Each State by Total Permit Cost in 2014
|Rank||County||State||2014Total Permit Cost|
*The US. Census Bureau defines the Southern states as: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. [http://www.census.gov/construction/nrc/definitions/]
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Carter Machinery is not responsible for errors/omissions in the data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau or any other third party.
1Includes counties with populations greater than 250,000 only (U.S. Census 2013 Estimates)