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Construction Sees an Unexpected Boost

With 25 permits last month, Maple Grove saw more building permits for residential housing in August than any other locality in the Twin Cities. Woodbury was second with 20 and Blaine was third with 18.

In year-to-date rankings, Maple Grove also tops the list with 185 permits, ahead of Blaine, which has 171, and Shakopee with 136. Most of the permits issued have been for developments that have been approved for some time. The economy has created a drought in the number of new plots being sold.

Additionally, the amount of standing inventory and the amount of distressed properties under foreclosure or short sales are weighing down the market. Currently, these properties make up about 30% of the Twin Cities market of residences for sale.

Construction activity across the nation jumped unexpectedly in August, a sign that the housing market is still alive and kicking, though it is still far from a recovery. A report released this week by the U.S. Commerce Department showed housing starts nationwide rose 10.5% during August, with much of the increase coming from new apartment buildings. The one-month increase may not continue for September, but it does reflect a market trying to find its bottom,

A National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, another report released this week, showed builders’ sentiment and sales activity remained near record lows. Those who responded to the survey say two indicators, like jobs and foreclosures, stand in the way of a better market.

Posted on September 23 2010