New-home permits rise 22% in metro area

Maryland Watch

April 16, 1996

Building permits for new homes in metropolitan Baltimore snapped back smartly in February from a weather-related January lull, the Baltimore Metropolitan Council reported yesterday.

Homebuilders obtained the rights to build 671 single-family homes and townhouses in Baltimore and the five surrounding counties, up 22.4 percent from the same month last year, the council said.

The 1996 total of 1,232 home permits in January and February is the same as in those months last year.

Commercial construction permits were mixed, with a 28 percent gain in the value of additions and repairs to commercial buildings partly offset by a 41 percent drop in the smaller sector of new commercial construction.

Building-permits statistics are a leading indicator that allow forecasters to project future economic strength.

"Despite the slowing down of activity in the Baltimore region in new nonresidential construction Howard County experienced a burst of activity," the council reported.

Howard's biggest project was an Ellicott City shopping center anchored by Target and Kohl's.

Pub Date: 4/16/96

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