Housing construction in the Twin Cities metro area dipped again last month. During October, homebuilders were issued 357 permits to build 937 units, according to data compiled by the Keystone Report for the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC) That was a 10 percent decrease in permits and 23 percent decline in planned units.

“Even after several months with little improvement, we remain optimistic that the Twin Cities residential construction market will start to climb,” said Chris Contreras, BATC president.

Housing construction, including rental apartments, so far this year has been on par with last year, but homebuilders aren’t seeing the kinds of gains they expected. During much of the year, apartment construction accounted for most of what’s been built in the region, but that segment of the industry is showing some signs of softening. Last month, attached housing, mostly rental apartments, represented 64 percent of all planned units during month. From January through October, 4,063 permits were issued to build 7,612 units, a 2 percent decline in permits and a 7.6 percent decline in units. So far this year, single-family permits are only 1 percent from the same time period in 2014. Multifamily permits, however, are down 17 percent.

Housing construction nationwide has also lagged expectations. New home sales tumbled 11.5 percent during September and the July and August sales figures were recently both revised lower. Housing starts increased 6.5 percent during September, but most of that gain was from multifamily construction. Here are the cities with the most planned units:

  1. Minneapolis: 242
  2. Monticello: 139
  3. Mahtomedi: 80
  4. Maplewood: 53
  5. Cambridge: 51

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