Want to See Local Building Permits? You Can


The U.S. Census Bureau created an interactive map that shows – by nation, state and county – private-housing building permit data for 2018-2022.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Census Bureau has created its first-ever interactive map of national, state and county building permit data.

The map covering 2018 to 2002 has been posted online. To find state information by county, click on “Florida” and scroll over the counties. The size of the bubbles indicates the relative level of activity in a county.

New-housing markets can vary – hotter in some states, colder in others – and understanding trends in new residential permits is crucial to people following the market, according to the Census Bureau.

The tool provides new data for all 3,143 U.S. counties and shows how many single-family and multifamily were authorized in each, along with the number of total housing units.

Data importance

  • Permits are a leading indicator. Since the first step in any new residential construction project is issuing a permit, the Building Permits Survey (BPS) data serves as a leading/early indicator of future residential construction activity. Data listed for 2022, for example, may suggest how many new apartment buildings are being built in a specific county.
  • The data is reliable. The Census Bureau says response rates for the BPS are quite high, there is no sampling error in the estimates, and average revisions to the data are relatively low.
  • It’s detailed data. BPS is “our most detailed source of construction estimates, providing monthly data with complete coverage for the nation, regions, divisions, counties and places,” the Census Bureau says in its announcement.

The new tool allows users to follow changes in data over the past few years and to drill down to more detailed data and geographic areas. An upcoming visualization will show metro area data back to 2014.

The annual BPS provides national, state, and local statistics on new, privately owned residential construction. The survey covers all places that issued building permits for privately owned residential structures. More than 99% of all privately owned residential buildings constructed are in permit-issuing places.

Source: Jane Callen is senior editor/writer in the Census Bureau’s Communications Directorate

© 2023 Florida Realtors®

©Florida Realtors®

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