Cities in the Sun Belt region lead the nation in new-home construction. The region is seeing a surge in new residents, and as a result, homebuilders are rushing to keep pace with housing demand. Austin, Texas, had the most single-family building permits per capita of any major U.S. metro, followed by Raleigh, N.C.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Charlotte, N.C., according to a new analysis by Redfin. Austin also led the nation in multifamily building permits, followed by Jacksonville and Salt Lake City.
Overall, 49 of the 53 U.S. metros with more than 1 million residents issued more single-family building permits per capita in the first quarter than they did in the decade prior to the pandemic (2010-2019), according to Redfin’s analysis. But homebuilders have been focusing on the Sun Belt as it grows as a destination for home buyers relocating from costlier areas of the country. The increase in remote work has allowed more mobility, and new residents are being drawn to the region for warmer weather and greater affordability, housing analysts note.
However, Sun Belt cities are seeing costs skyrocket, too. The 10 metros with the most single-family building permits per capita in the first quarter also saw home prices climb more than the national level of 15.5% year over year in April, Redfin reports. For example, prices in Las Vegas rose 29%—the highest in the country. Home prices in Nashville, Orlando, Raleigh, and Phoenix all grew by at least 25%.
“Rapidly rising home prices in the Sun Belt highlight the need for more homes,” says Taylor Marr, Redfin’s deputy chief economist. “The hope for buyers is that building new homes will tame price growth so that housing remains more affordable than pricey coastal areas, especially with mortgage rates higher than they have been in recent years. It may become even more important to build if higher rates continue to drive out-of-town buyers to the Sun Belt.”
The chart below from Redfin shows the areas seeing the most uptick in new-home construction.