Building permit values in Fort Smith, Greenwood and Van Buren, combined to total $21.737 million in December, a significant improvement from $16.899 million in November and well above the $12.558 million logged in December 2011.
The month-to-month increase of close to 57.8% improves year-to-date comparisons through the first 12 months of the year to a decline of 21.7%, which is up from October’s YTD comparison that showed a 32.5% decline.
Combined values in the three cities through December 2012 are at $157.32 million, compared to $201.079 million during 2011. The 2012 value is above the $149 million in 2010, but below the $164 million during 2009.
Fort Smith closed 2012 with the largest share of valuations, logging $136.428 million (a one-year decline from $179.288 million of about 23.9%), while Van Buren was the next largest with $12.282 million (a one-year decrease from $12.39 million of approximately 0.87%). Greenwood posted an additional $8.609 million, which was down slightly from last year’s $9.461 million (down about 9%).
The city of Fort Smith logged 138 permits in December totaling $21.116 million, up considerably from December 2011’s performance of $12.169 million and November’s $15.412 million. However, YTD numbers remain down for the year.
Residential building accounted for $3.481 million with $2.225 million of that coming in the form of new home construction. But it was really the commercial building sector that stole the show with $16.919 million in overall valuations, $15.495 million of which came in the form of alterations. (New commercial construction logged a $500,000 total.)
By far the biggest-ticket item was attributed to $15.21 million in alterations permitted at 4301 Harriet Lane, the site of Gerber Products.
Greenwood numbers for December were largely non-existent, off 86.6% compared to the December 2011 valuation of $149,000.
Only one permit was issued totaling $20,000. It was itemized as commercial repairs and attributed to SBA Communications Corporation at 655 Summit Ridge Drive. In November valuations were at $392,500 overall (on four total permits).
Van Buren finished down for the year, though the $601,000 December valuation is ahead of the $240,900 total from December 2011.
Most of the city’s activity stemmed from the single-family residential line item, or new home construction, which logged $588,000 on 15 permits.
Of the $201.079 million totaled in 2011, Fort Smith logged the most with $179.228 million, thanks in large part to the Mitsubishi plant at Chaffee Crossing, which has since been mothballed by the company. That one permit, issued in January 2011, totaled $28.5 million.
Van Buren finished in second place for 2011 with $12.39 million in valuations, beating out Greenwood, which posted just $9.461 million through the same period.
Mitsubishi dragged down building permit numbers for the year, causing a year-to-date decline of around 21.7%. Even without that permit, the Fort Smith metro area lagged when compared to 2011 showing a decrease of around 8.8%, thought that number is a significant improvement from the 30.88% decline the region was experiencing through the end of August.