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The number of single-family building permits were the most this decade and represented a 14 increase over last year There were 2542 permits for new single-family units pulled in Rhode Island last year 312 more than in 1997In an interview with Roger R Warren executive director of the Rhode Island Builders Association he stated Residential construction is a fundamental indicator of Rhode Islands economic strength These strong building permit figures are an assurance that the states economy continues to grow Although Johnston Providence and Scituate experienced decreases in permits issued many more towns have seen dramatic increases as much as 48 in CoventryThere are several factors that help to explain this trend General economic conditions such as interest rates affect whether people can afford new homes Low interest rates and an unemployment rate just under the national average have put new homes within reach for many people Further the average cost of homebuilding hasnt experienced more than a 12 increase in the last 10 years These facts together with increasing personal income adds on even more permits Demographics have also had a significant impact on home purchases this decade People tend to purchase their largest and most expensive homes during their 40s near the peak of their earnings The majority of the 80 million baby-boomers have reached their 40s during the 1990s and into the early part of the 21st centuryAt least two forces of change will affect management in the homebuilding industry as a result of these trends Much of Rhode Islands undeveloped land is restricted which will result in an eventual cap on building Bryant College economist William B Sweeney said The increase in construction falls in line with other indicators of a strong economy ahead But even if there are enough customers who want to purchase homes Rhode Island may be getting max out Wetlands make up a large portion of RI precluding a lot of developmentThe other force of change
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