In the building industry, we’ve faced grim economic news before. It wasn’t that long ago that the Great Recession dealt a serious blow to home builders. Many folks still haven’t come back from that dark time. I’m optimistic, however, that the COVID-19 pandemic and its ensuing economic instability won’t leave us in a similar situation. I don’t just say that as a glass-half-full-type person. There’s solid evidence that housing will lead the way in this recovery.
According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Chief Economist Rob Dietz, single-family permits increased by a healthy 12 percent month-over-month in May. Total permits for single-family homes issued in 2020 on a year-to-date basis are 1.8 percent higher than the first five months of 2019. This is good news.
Even so, we’re not out of the woods yet. As of this writing both the number of cases of COVID-19 and number of hospitalizations in North Carolina continue to rise. I hope this peak very quickly becomes a valley, but it’s a sign that COVID-19 unfortunately isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. We must remain vigilant.
I know you’ve heard and read the same guidance about social distancing and disinfection to the point of exhaustion. We’re all ready to get back to normal. But we can’t let our guard down. These steps are too important to the health of our employees, their families and our own families to stop now. These steps are also critical to the health of our businesses.