Area sees May surge in residential building permits

New-home construction in the Indianapolis area rebounded last month from a poor April to post a big year-over-year increase.

Single-family building permits filed in the nine-county area in May totaled 431, a 20-percent spike from the same month of 2011, according to the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis. The increase was the strongest year-over-year percentage increase in May in 11 years.

That follows an April in which permit filings fell 2 percent over the previous year.

Hamilton County in May recorded 193 permits, the most of the metro-area counties, for a 31-percent increase over May 2011.

In Marion County, builders filed 66 permits, a 14-percent increase.

Hendricks County saw 63 permits filed last month, a 43-percent increase from May 2011. Activity was flat in Johnson County.

BAGI CEO Steve Lains said he was encouraged by May’s results.

“In the last decade, May has not been a particularly strong month in terms of an increase in permits from the previous year,” he said in a written statement. “With permits trailing sales by 30 to 45 days, the numbers are an indication of a strong spring selling season that we hope continues into the summer.”

The stronger May helped push year-to-date building activity higher. The number of area permits filed so far through May totaled 1,655, an 11-percent increase from the first five months last year.

Still, building activity is slow compared to pre-recession levels. Nearly 780 permits were filed in May 2007 and 946 were filed in May 2006.

 
 

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