Local Residential Construction Up in 2010

The Twin Cities saw a 13 percent increase in issued permits and a 27 percent increase in planned units in 2010.

Despite a dip in residential construction in December, building in 2010 outpaced 2009 by a long shot, according to data released Tuesday by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC).

In 2010, there were 2,942 permits issued for the building of 5,611 units-a 13 percent increase and 27 percent increase from 2009, respectively. That said, 2009 marked a dramatic drop in building activity, according to the report.

The BATC records growth by units because projects like condos and townhomes often include multiple units but require only one building permit.

In 2010, 51 percent of all construction activity involved multifamily projects, an indicator that building of single-family homes has still not picked up steam in the 13-county metro area.

“Throughout 2010, the region's housing market has maintained a reasonably steady pace and continued ahead of 2009 figures,” BATC President Gary Aulik said in a statement.”We had up and down months, but as a whole, we're confident that the worst is behind us.”

The jump in construction activity in 2010 follows a severe decline experienced in 2009. For context, building in 2010 did slightly outperform 2008, but the 5,611 permitted units pale in comparison to the 8,961 in 2007 and 12,644 in 2006.

In December, the Twin Cities metro area saw 159 permits and 381 planned units, down from 230 permits and 685 planned units during the previous month.

Minneapolis led the metro area in permitted units, with 121 in December and 865 throughout the year. Maple Grove issued the most permits in 2010, with 266.

Aulik said that his association expects an uptick in 2011, but the growth will be somewhat offset by the still-prevalent foreclosures and short sales in the region.

Data released by Roseville-based BATC is compiled by local research firm Keystone Report.

The BATC is an association that includes builders, remodelers, subcontractors, suppliers, and other professionals who support the building industry. Members subscribe to a defined code of ethics, and all builders agree to meet performance standards for construction and business practices.