Detroit Tops Metro List for Number of New Housing Permits

Officials say city has had to works its way back to top of list


Metro Detroit continues to recover from the recession that hit the region nearly 10 years ago. That’s according to data released by the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. The figures show a 16% increase in the number of permits issued for new single-family homes, condos and apartments. Detroit ranks number one for the most permits issued for new units. SEMCOG Regional Development Planner, Janet Mocadlo, says the city continues to tear down more single-family houses than are being built. She says the City of Detroit demolished almost 3200 houses last year, far more than the nearly 1000 permits for new units. But she says margin is getting smaller and smaller between demolition and construction

“For 2017 91% of the permits for Detroit were apartments, and then 3% were single-family and 6% were condos” -Janet Mocadlo, SEMCOG

Mocadlo says many younger residents and Baby Boomers are looking for apartments or condos rather than single-family homes. She says last year only 27 permits for new single-family homes were issued in Detroit. She says it has taken Detroit time to regain the top spot for the number of new construction permits.


“They were out of the top 10 for a very long time and it’s just been in the past few years that they are back in the Top 10 list.” 

Mocadlo says as a region Metro Detroit is also continuing to see growth. When the recession hit in 2009 the number of permits for new construction of homes, condos and apartments, reached only 1800 versus last year when nearly 7,000 permits were issued. 

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  • Amy Miller
    Amy has been working in public and commercial radio for the last 30 yrs. She is an award winning reporter and news anchor, born and raised in Detroit.