Roseville, MN (January 12, 2009) – December permit statistics are a clear indication that regional builders were more than ready to close the books on 2008. Planned units dropped to just six more than the year’s monthly
low in February, and and down 60 percent compared to December 2007. Multi-family units made up just 36 percent of the month’s total, a drop from the 50 to 70 percent each month since July.
According to statistics compiled by the Keystone Report for the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC), there were 223 units permitted during the month of December 2008, down from the 420 units permitted in November 2008. Housing activity ended the year 40 percent below 2007. A total of 5,397 units were permitted in 2008, compared to 8,961 units permitted last year.
The housing sector has borne the brunt of this economic downturn, losing an estimated three million jobs since the peak of housing expansion in 2005.
“Housing traditionally accounts for 15 cents of every dollar spent in the United States,” says BATC President Mike Swanson. “Therefore housing must be a centerpiece of any recovery plan.”
“The housing industry, spearheaded by the National Assocition of Home Builders’ Fix Housing First Coalition, is urging Congress to take action that includes ensuring below-market mortgage rates and expanded home buyer tax credits,” explains Swanson. “These measures will help to stablize home prices, prevent future foreclosures, restore consumer confidence and start creating jobs.”
Hudson, WI led the metro in building activity for the month with 29 units permitted in December. Woodbury followed with 19 units permitted, Maple Grove was next with 18 units permitted, followed by Blaine with 15 and Hugo at 12.
The Builders Association of the Twin Cities has contracted with Keystone Report, a local research firm, to maintain a database with information about new residential construction permits around the metropolitan area. After a builder has picked up the permit from a city, Keystone Report compiles and updates weekly residential housing permits by city for 70 percent of the metropolitan- area municipalities in the greater 13-county region. Planned units are the total number of housing units planned to be built under the permits issued (one permits is issued per building which may include more than one housing unit). Permit value does not include the land/lot costs.