Residential construction nearly doubled in 2012 on gains in both single-family and multi-family projects, according to data released Thursday by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC).

For the full year, there were 4,275 permits issued for a total of 9,035 units, compared to 2,978 permits for 4,529 units in 2011, the association said. That represents a 99.5 percent increase in total units permitted as compared to 2011. (The BATC records growth by units in addition to permits because projects like condos, townhomes, and apartments often include multiple units but require only one building permit.)

Multi-family units saw the most growth, increasing from 1,708 to 4,977. Single-family construction, meanwhile, jumped from 2,818 to 4,058 homes permitted year-over-year.

Minneapolis, which has seen a surge in apartment construction this year, led the metro area in residential building in 2012 with 3,104 units. Next came St. Louis Park (509), Blaine (398), Woodbury (369), and Lakeville (366).

In December, there were 343 permits issued for a total of 807 units, outpacing the 293 permits that were issued for 568 units last December.

Minneapolis saw the most activity in December with 412 units permitted. Woodbury ranked second with 76 units, followed by Lakeville (37), Blaine (24), and Maple Grove (22).

The full-year 2012 residential construction marks a major gain over the last several years. For comparison, there were only 2,799 permits issued for 5,397 units in 2008. But the numbers still remain low compared to historical figures from prior to the recession.

“While new home construction numbers aren’t back to normal yet, the industry is firmly on the rebound,” Curt Christensen, BATC’s 2012 president and owner of Watertown-based Lee Lyn Construction, said in a statement. “Builders in most locations and price points have seen demand steadily improve.”

In part because the so-called “fiscal cliff” was averted, the BATC expects to see continued improvement in 2013, Christensen added.

The BATC represents more than 1,000 firms in the home building and remodeling industries.

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