Area builders file to build fewer homes for third straight month

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Applications for home construction slipped in central Indiana in February—the third straight month of declines.

Builders filed 465 single-family construction permits in the nine-county area last month, a 3 percent decline over the 481 permits they filed the previous February, according to the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis.

The decrease followed a 9 percent decline in January and a 10 percent drop in December. Before that, permit filings had been on a 14-month streak of year-over-year increases.

Last year turned out to be the busiest year for builders in more than a decade, but filings slowed in the fourth quarter, falling 1 percent over the same quarter of 2017.

They are down 6 percent, to 915, during the first two months of the new year, from 975 in the same time frame of 2018.

County numbers

February’s numbers were hindered by significant slowdowns in usual hotbeds Hamilton County and Marion County.

Hamilton County was the busiest local county for home building in February, with 138 permit filings, but that was down 22 percent from 176 in February 2018.

Marion County filings dropped 21 percent last month, to 86, down from 109 the previous year.

Johnson County filings rose 56 percent, from 34 to 53.

Hendricks County's numbers were up 4 percent in February, to 82.

Hancock County saw a permit decline of 8 percent, to 33. Filings rose 48 percent in Boone County, to 43.

Filings ticked up from eight to nine in Morgan County. They rose from five to nine in Madison County and from five to 12 in Shelby County.

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