A building permit is official permission to initiate a new construction project, provided by the governmental department of building or the building regulators. The Building Permits report gathers the data on all new construction permissions granted for residential buildings, housing units, and commercial buildings within a specific time period.
As a leading economic indicator, the Building Permits report measures the current demand in the real estate market and estimates the future performance of the construction industry.
These numbers provide a general indication of the amount of new housing stock that may have been added to the housing inventory. Since not all permits become actual housing starts and starts lag the permit stage of construction, these numbers do not represent total new construction, but should provide a general indicator on construction activity and the local real estate market.