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Area building permits fall for 23rd straight month

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The number of single-family building permits issued in the nine-county Indianapolis area fell 20 percent in September from the same month a year ago, marking 23 consecutive months of declines.

According to figures released Thursday by the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis, 287 permits were filed in the area last month, compared to 357 in September 2008.

The last month building permits rose over the previous year was in October 2007, when the area registered a 2-percent increase. But even that growth seemed to be a blip. Prior to that month, permits were in decline for 20 straight months, dating back to January 2006, when 19 percent more permits were issued than in January 2005.

Overall, 2,742 permits have been issued in the nine counties through September, compared with 3,752 through the first nine months of 2008, a decrease of 27 percent.

Hamilton County led the area with 118 permits filed in September, a 13-percent decline over last year. Marion County saw permits decline 35 percent, from 92 to 60.

Boone County, where permits rose from 16 to 24, and Hancock County, where permits rose from six to seven, were the only local counties to see an increase.

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