The greater Atlanta area, which recorded 53,750 single-family housing permits last year, led the nation in housing activity for the 13th consecutive year beginning in 1991, according to the Commerce Department. Rounding out the top five housing markets for single-family permits were the metropolitan areas of Phoenix-Mesa with 46,590, Riverside-San Bernardino with 35,730, Houston with 33,970 and Washington, D.C., with 30,760. The total issuance of single-family permits across the country for 2003 was 1.444 million, according to the Commerce Department. "We are excited to be the most active housing market in the country once again. It has been a long run," said David M. Smith, president of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association and a builder/developer in the Atlanta metropolitan area. "Overall, housing demand has remained strong and the market has been vibrant, but we are seeing changes in buying activity. "The market for higher-end homes has fluctuated during the last two ye...
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