Housing permit activity in Connecticut showed dramatic growth in April, with a 26.4 percent increase in the number of units approved last month compared to the same period a year ago, officials with the state Department of Economic and Community Development said Wednesday.
There were 263 housing units approved among the 128 Connecticut communities reporting in April. That’s compared to 208 units approved in April 2017, according to DECD.
The growth in housing permit activity was even more dramatic when viewed in the context of units approved so far this year. There were 1,297 housing units approved in Connecticut during the first four months of 2018, compared to 981 approved during the same period last year, a 32.2 percent increase.
Simsbury had the largest amount of housing permit activity in April, with 79 units approved, followed by Danbury with 12 and Stamford with 11. Among New Haven-area communities, Milford had the largest amount of permit activity, with 8 units approved.
Donald Klepper-Smith, chief economist and director of research for New Haven-based DataCore Partners, said April’s housing permit numbers for Connecticut represent a real positive for the state’s economy.
“It’s still a far cry from where we were at the peak, but these numbers suggest that we’ve seen the bottom and are starting to see some real growth,” Klepper Smith said. “Remember, this is against a backdrop of higher interest rates.”
Connecticut continues to benefit from a focus by developers on flexible housing alternatives such as apartment complexes, he said. Over the first four months of this year, 714 of the permits have gone to developments of five units or more, according to DECD, compared to 535 issued to single-family homes.