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CPBJ Extra Blog

Five months in: Tracking our building permits

By - Last modified: June 12, 2013 at 9:19 AM
Jason Scott
Jason Scott

Everyone is looking for a little context, especially when it comes to the construction industry over the last decade.

We saw a major climb and then a steep drop in building activity when the bubble burst and the recession took hold. It's been slow and steady, but mending ever since.

Residential permits are one measure I've been tracking over much of my time here at the Business Journal.

Here's my latest update:

After recording the lowest year in recent history last year, Central Pennsylvania residential building permits have been trending up in 2013.

Four months in and the value of permits in the midstate was $151.9 million, up 30.2 percent over the same period last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Building permits issued in the four metropolitan areas covered by the Business Journal — Harrisburg-Carlisle, Lancaster, Lebanon and York-Hanover — came in at 937 through April, which was 22.5 percent above the first four months of 2012, the Census said.

The area finished 2012 with building permits worth $405.6 million, according to the Census.

The current pace would put 2013 year-end permits around 2,800 and a valuation of $455.7 million. That's still well off the peak years but could be a positive sign of things to come this decade.

Where do you think we'll end the year? Summer likely will tell the tale. I'll be sure to keep you posted.

What other localized construction or real estate analysis are you looking for? Let me know.

And here are a few notable industry stories I came across this week:

"Builders now hurting for skilled workers"

"After the Surge"

"Construction spending ticks up in April"

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at You can also follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal.

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