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Residential building permits up more than 36 percent

Posted: September 23, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: September 23, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Residential building rebounded in August, the Los Angeles/Ventura Chapter of the Building Industry Association of Southern California reported Thursday.

According to records, 203 single-family permits were pulled in Los Angeles County in August, up more than 36 percent from the previous month. The numbers were compiled by the Construction Industry Research Board.

The August permits were also up 15.3 percent from a year ago, a sign that demand for new housing might finally be showing signs of life.

Permits for multifamily units still outpace single family homes, however, with 1,120 multifamily permits issued in August.
The number of multifamily permits is up 711.6 percent from last month, and 98.6 percent from last year.

The permits for both single-family homes and multifamily construction are up 361 percent from July, and nearly 79 percent from August 2010.

Year to date, there have been 6,696 permits issued in L.A. County.

Ventura County numbers reflected strong growth for the year with 835 permits pulled to date, well above the 358 permits pulled for the same time period last year. Most of the growth was in Oxnard.

Statewide, permits were up 96 percent from July and up almost 30 percent from August 2010.

The Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation reported 41 residential units were permitted through the first half of 2011, fewer than half the units permitted in the first half of 2010.

For the first three months of 2011, a total of 50 new units were permitted in the greater Valley, down from 65 units during the same period in 2010.

All but 14 of the units permitted through the first quarter, however, were for single-family detached homes, reported the SCVEDC. These numbers reflect opposite of the trend in outlying communities, where permits for multifamily construction far exceed single-family permits.

The rebound is good news for builders and the region’s economy, said Holly Schroeder, CEO for the division local chapter. But the overall economy is not likely to recover until homebuilding gets back on track.

“One thing that could help make a lot of new-home projects financially feasibly would be for our cities, counties and school districts to reduce their developer fees, which average $50,000 or more per home — or at least to defer collecting the funds until the home is completed instead of with the building permit.” Schroeder said.

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