Three new apartment buildings helped boost the number of new units planned for the Twin Cities nearly 40 percent during January, according to the latest permit data from the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC).

During January builders were issued 358 permits to build 1,059 units, a 51-percent increase over last year and the best start to the year since the housing bust began.

Rental housing, including the second phase of Mill & Main Apartments just across the Mississippi River from downtown Minneapolis and two buildings in Golden Valley and Eagan, represented 64 percent of all planned units. Most of the permits issued to build single-family houses were in Lakeville, Prior Lake and Woodbury.

Shawn Nelson, BATC's new president said while 2013 ended with more than 10,000 housing units permitted, that’s still well below the average new homes permitted in the Twin Cities throughout the 1990s. “A region our size should be able to support around 12,000 to 15,000 new homes just to keep up with household growth and replacement housing stock,” he said.

Here's a link to all the details.

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