A recent report that single-family home construction was up again in 2017 in Washington is good news for the community.

The city issued 32 permits for new homes valued at over $6 million last year — the highest number of permits issued in more than a decade. That compares to 20 single-family homes, with an estimated construction cost of $4.6 million, in 2016.

City officials said it looks like homebuilding will continue to be strong in 2018.

Housing starts are important and can be an indicator of increased prosperity and possibly for a tightening supply of existing homes for resale. This indicator can also be a sign of job growth in the construction industry, including companies that act as suppliers to homebuilders.

Increased demand for newly constructed homes also can lead to increased demand for products that these homebuyers will need, such as new appliances, furniture and other items leading to increased sales and employment in those sectors.

An increase in housing starts can have a ripple effect. Homebuilding generates local economic activity, including jobs and income generated by construction workers and new residents, and additional property taxes and other revenue for local governments.

Although the numbers don’t compare to the approximate 100 single-family home permits issued in 2003, just before the housing market crashed, it is trending upward and that’s a good sign.