Area building permit values up 40% year-to-date

story by Ryan Saylor
rsaylor@thecitywire.com

Building permits in Fort Smith, Greenwood and Van Buren were a combined $5.944 million for the month of November, a drop of 64.82% from the same month last year when permits totaled $16.899 across the three cities.

The cities also showed a decrease in values of 59.32% from October to November, with October boasting permit values of $14.614 million.

Even though the value of permits was lower during the month of November, the three cities have continued an increase of building permit values for the year as a whole, posting a 40.12% increase in value from January through November 2013 ($195.226 million) compared to the same period last year ($139.329 million).

The city of Fort Smith posted the largest 11 month total, bringing in $166.834 million, while Van Buren had permits totaling $15.411 million and Greenwood posted only $7.576 million in permits so far this year.

FORT SMITH
The city of Fort Smith posted 156 permits last month with a value of $5.398 million. Compared to October's values of $12.779 million, November's figures are down 57.76%.

Values are also down compared to the same month last year, when Fort Smith issued $15.412 million in permits, resulting in a decline in permit values of 64.98%.

Residential construction showed the most strength in November, with residential construction accounting for $4.222 million in permits.

Commercial construction, a sector that was boasting values in the millions of dollars during much of the year, showed only $818,003 in permits issued.

GREENWOOD
Permits were down in the city of Greenwood compared to November 2012, with only three permits being issued last month with a value of $177,990 compared to 11 permits the same month last year worth $392,500, a decline of 54.65%.

The largest permit issued in November was for a new home valued at $125,120. The other permits were issued for repairs and remodeling to one residential structure and one commercial structure.

VAN BUREN
Total valuations of building permits in Van Buren were down, as well, with the city only posting $367,600 in building permits last month compared to $1.096 million during the same month last year, a decline of 66.46%.

As with last year, much of the value of Van Buren's permits were related to residential construction which saw five permits issued at $264,000 compared to $1.025 million last year, a decline of 74.24% from November 2012.

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2012 RECAP
Combined values in the three cities during 2012 were $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 2012 figures were compared against a $28.5 million permit in 2011 for the construction of a Mitsubishi wind-turbine assembly plant at Chaffee Crossing. The plant has been mothballed by the company. Even without that permit, the Fort Smith metro area lagged when compared to 2011 showing a decrease of around 8.8%.

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