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Homebuilding activity in the northern Twin Cities is up so far this year, bucking the overall trend for the metro area.

The number of homebuilding permits metrowide through June 30 was down slightly from 2014, according to the Keystone Report for the Builders Association of the Twin Cities. The number of housing units built also declined from 4,579 in 2014 to 3,984 this year.

The 15 north metro communities in Hennepin and Anoka counties tracked by the builders' group recorded 435 permits for the first half of this year, up from 377 a year ago. Andover, Ham Lake and Ramsey posted some of the strongest gains.

Multiunit construction was a significant factor in Champlin. Blaine's 132 permit total was highest in the north metro.