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Number Of Sioux Falls Building Permits Falling

July 13, 2009, 6:00 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Number Of Sioux Falls Building Permits Falling
Not as many new homes are going up in Sioux Falls. So far this year less than two hundred home building permits have been issued. Throughout the first six months of 2007, the city issued more than five-hundred home building permits. In 2007 that number was around three-hundred.  

"With the economy throughout the United Sates you can't expect us to get continually larger and larger with the economy," Gary Harr of Harr-Lemme Homes said.

City statistics show just half-way through the year the recession's stifling the number of building permits being issued.

"We're still growing albeit at a little bit slower pace," Harr said.

But Gary Harr with Harr-Lemme Homes doesn't see the drop as a big cause for concern.

"The numbers aren't down as far as I expected them to be, so I take that as a positive so I think we're doing better than even I anticipated this year," Harr said.

The National Association of Home Builders says the number of permits issued in Sioux Falls is down 16 percent this year. Rapid City is down 38 percent, and Des Moines, Iowa that has seen a 57 percent drop.

"We're still doing pretty good compared to the national average, not running out of places to build anyway," Harr said.

And while the recession is partly to blame for the decrease in the amount of new homes being built in Sioux Falls, Harr says you also have to remember that just a few years ago Sioux Falls issued a record number of building permits. 

"So, coming back 25 percent is that more of a re-settling going back to that average? We're not actually going backward, we're not losing permits, we're still creating more homes. We built 560 last year which is far better than 1980 where there was one or two building permits," Harr said.

So, while building isn't necessarily booming, local construction companies don't think its busting either.

So far this year the amount of money spent on re-modeling old homes has actually increased from 14 million dollars last year to 18 million dollars this year.

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