It was a bit of a setback for Michigan’s homebuilding industry in March as housing permits for single-family home construction were down 20 percent. The U.S. Census Bureau says there were 1,246 permits issued in March 2018, compared to 1,562 permits in March 2017.

However, year-to-date, housing permits in Michigan are ahead 3.3 percent through the first quarter of 2018.

“After the quick start to the year, this decline in March is not surprising,” Home Builders Association of Michigan (HBAM) CEO Bob Filka said. “It will be impossible for Michigan to realize a full housing recovery until we come to grips with a shortage of skilled labor, rising building material costs, lot availability and burdensome, and inconsistent, government regulations that slow needed housing investment.”

Michigan’s residential building industry annually contributed more than $3.3 billion in local and state taxes at its height, generated almost $10 billion in income and helped generate and sustain more than 153,000 jobs.

Currently, the industry is less than half this size – however demand for housing and renovation services is still growing. “The challenges the housing industry faces today are vastly different than in the past,” Filka said. “Communities are going to continue to see dramatic shortages and need to be thinking and talking about innovative ways to attract investment that will provide housing options for the average citizen.”

HBAM warned of a potential housing shortage in Michigan last summer when it issued a proposed 13-point action plan to address challenges faced by the industry. Copies of the HBAM report, “Housing Challenges Threaten Our Economic Growth—Where Will Ten Million Michiganders Live?” can be downloaded at


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