First Quarter New Home Construction Indicates Early Recovery

The March 2012 residential permit statistics indicate a significant jump over 2011 for the same quarter last year.   This year’s first quarter recorded 712 total units compared to last year’s first quarter number of 391.  The numbers were bolstered by 41 multi-family rental units in Kansas City, Kansas. With the addition of 269 starts in March, the Greater Kansas City area has not seen a first quarter this good since the first quarter of 2008 prior to the financial crisis.

“Builders have been selling homes as fast as they are building them recently.  This could be the release of pent up demand combined with record low mortgage rates averaging 3.9% last week,” said Executive Vice President Sara Corless.  “It will feel like more like a recovery if we are still looking at numbers like this in September.”

An activity of note for the quarter is that as a percentage of total single family units Clay, Jackson and Platte counties all increased market share for a combined increase from 42% in 2011 to 53% in 2012.  The units constructed in those three combined counties more than doubled from a total of 161 in 2011 to 330 in 2012.

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