Pulte is developing Elm Creek Highlands in Plymouth, a hot-spot during September.

Pulte is developing Elm Creek Highlands in Plymouth, a hot-spot during September.


Twin Cities home builders picked up the pace a bit in September, and Maple Grove and Plymouth were metro-area construction hot-spots. That’s according to the latest data from the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC), which said that during September home builders were issued 272 permits to build 352 units in the Twin Cities metro area. (A builder can be issued one permit to build mulitple units.) Builders planned to build 44 units in Maple Grove and 43 in Plymouth.

It wasn’t the best September on record, but it wasn’t the worst either. For permits it was the best year since 2008. For units, however, it was the slowest month in more than five years. That’s because builders requested fewer permits to build apartment buildings. Apartments and other multi-family buildings represented only 25 percent of all planned units compared with 45 percent in August. That means single-family houses dominated construction activity, a good sign for home builders.

Rich Riemersma, BATC’s president and co-owner of Imperial Homes, said that builders in the Fall Parade of Homes are reporting “real interest.” Still, 2011 is on pace to be only slightly better than 2009, the worst year in recent memory. For the first nine months of that year builders planned to build only 2,953 units, less than half of what they built in 2007. So far this year the home builders have been issued 2,161 permits to build 3,141 units.

Are you thinking about buying a new house? Are builders dealing? Are you finding lots of options? I'm curious. jim.buchta@startribune.com

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