Stability is slowly returning to the new-homes market. While total single-family and multi-family building permits remain on an up-and-down rollercoaster from month to month, they are on a slight upward trend for the year. Total private-sector housing permits in the U.S. were up 6% through October, with single-family units up 5% and multi-family units up 9%, according to estimates made by the U.S. Census Bureau. The Northeast region has had the strongest activity this year, with single-family permits up 12% and multi-family permits up 24%.

Industry experts say the housing market is slowly reviving after a downturn related to the expiration of the home-buyer tax credit in the spring. Permit issuance is an indicator of future building activity, and that bodes well for Texas, where four metropolitan areas rank among the Top 10 metros in single-family permits. On the multi-family side, the country’s largest East and West coast metros dominate the market.

The implication for ULI members is the new-homes market is indeed coming back in some parts of the country. For instance, single-family permits increased by double-digit percentages in most large and small metros in Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana and Michigan. Here are the Top 10 metros for single-family and multi-family permits this year:

Rank

Metro area

2010 single-family building permits, through Oct.

1

Houston

19,253

2

Dallas-Fort Worth

12,520

3

Washington D.C.

8,182

4

Phoenix

6,486

5

New York

5,897

6

Atlanta

5,554

7

Austin, TX

5,357

8

Seattle

5,199

9

San Antonio

4,518

10

Philadelphia

4,493

(Source: U.S. Census Bureau.)

Rank

Metro area

2010 multi-family building permits, through Oct.

1

New York

8,694

2

Los Angeles

5,183

3

Houston

4,853

4

Dallas-Fort Worth

3,592

5

Seattle

3,071

6

Washington D.C.

3,152

7

Chicago

2,380

8

Miami-Fort Lauderdale

2,354

9

Boston

2,220

10

San Francisco

1,757

(Source: U.S. Census Bureau.)