Watchdog Report – January 22, 2023


Fortunately, the Federal government didn’t shut down last weekend.  President Biden signed another continuing resolution to fund the government, and extend the Federal Flood Insurance Program, until mid-March. 

Building Permits

We often use building permit data to help us advocate for Realtor interests with local government.  It pays to keep accurate data.  And it also can be a great resource for you.

I got the data from the US Census Bureau, which is reported to them by local governments.  Recently, I also gathered building permit data for the Rock Hill region.  Several local governments have argued that the $18,000 per home impact fee there hasn’t influenced home building.  The data says otherwise.  I think you will find my research useful.  It is up to date through November 2023, but I annualized 2023 to compare it to prior years.

Permits by County

I combined single-family and multi-family building permits because together they constitute housing units that can be occupied by families to meet their housing needs.

Greenville County rebounded after a 54% drop in 2022.  Anderson County dropped slightly in 2023 and Oconee County saw a much larger 25% drop compared with 2022.  Not surprisingly, Pickens County dropped 20%, influenced by their year-long moratorium. 

The graph below helps paint a picture of the last six years.

Rock Hill Region

I looked at York County to help understand how a shocking government regulation can impact a housing market.  In 2018, York County Council enacted an $18,000 impact fee for schools, and it applied to just one school district—Fort Mill. 

You can clearly see that during the hottest housing market in any of our lifetimes, York County housing production fell by 16%.  Meanwhile, neighboring Chester and Cherokee counties rose significantly.  Overall, the region fell by nearly 19%.

But it’s when you compare the Rock Hill Region to the Upstate that you see the impact of overregulation.  While Rock Hill dropped, the Upstate collectively rose by nearly 17%.

Forecast Luncheon is on February 15

Data helps us in advocacy.  I hope it can help you in your business planning as well.  That is why your Western Upstate Association of REALTORS® will host Laura Ullrich, Regional Economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, as our guest speaker at our Forecast Luncheon on February 15.  Mark your calendar and watch the Weekly Update for more details.

Support RPAC

RPAC is an important element of your Realtors Association’s advocacy program.  I encourage you to support RPAC and we make it easy to do so—we include a voluntary RPAC contribution on your annual dues renewal.  Simply pay it and you have support RPAC.  If you want to do more, it’s easy

Michael Dey, Director of Government Affairs