Hampden Township used to be leader of the pack when it came to residential building permits in Cumberland County, with neighboring Silver Spring Township looking from behind.
But Silver Spring Township — still the little brother to Hampden, East Pennsboro, Upper Allen and Lower Allen townships in terms of population — has held the title as busiest municipality in the county for home construction since 2010.
Nearly every year since 2010 has produced an increase in residential activity in the township, while Hampden Township, which is mostly built out, has seen permits level off.
Last year, there were 87 residential permits in Hampden Township, still good enough for fourth among county municipalities.
Silver Spring Township, by comparison, had 267. The township was a hotbed for several large housing developments before the recession. As the housing market has recovered over the last four to five years, later phases in many of those communities have sprung up.
Both townships do well because of the demand from homebuyers who want to be in the Cumberland Valley School District.
Since 2006, Hampden and Silver Spring townships have combined for more than 3,200 residential permits.
By comparison, Lower Paxton Township is the only municipality in Dauphin County to crack 1,000 permits over that span. Lower Paxton Township has had 1,155 since 2006, including 120 last year.
Other fun facts
Here are some other fun development facts for Cumberland and Dauphin counties from the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission’s recent annual building activity report.
- Single-family: Silver Spring Township topped Cumberland municipalities with 185 single-family permits last year. Upper Allen Township was No. 2 with 101. In Dauphin County, Lower Paxton Township led the pack with 87 single-family permits. South Hanover Township was second just 37.
- Multifamily: Lower Allen Township was the leader in Cumberland County with 90 multifamily apartment permits, while Silver Spring Township topped the townhouses list with 68 permits. In Dauphin County, Susquehanna Township had 100 apartment permits, while Swatara Township led the way with 34 townhouse permits.
- Since 1987, Cumberland County’s best year for building permits was 2002 with 1,644. Dauphin County’s best year was 1987 with 1,619 permits.
- Commercial: Carlisle topped the list for commercial permits last year with 20. The county seat in Cumberland County also led the way in the previous five years. There have been more than 100 commercial permits in the borough since 2006, the most of any municipality. Silver Spring Township was second. In Dauphin County, Hummelstown was the leader with 10 commercial permits last year. The borough was on top in 2014 with 12.
Editor’s note: Lower Paxton Township inaccurately reported 2015 residential permits to Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, the township confirmed this week. Permit numbers have been corrected in this story to reflect those errors.