Single-family home construction down 49 percent in K.C.

KANSAS CITY — Total housing permits fell 36 percent in 2008, according to new numbers from the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City. The metro area finished the year with 5,072 total housing units permitted, down from 7,909 total units in 2007.

The decline was steepest for single-family homes as builders adjusted to slowing sales and a build-up of unsold inventory.

Permits were issued for a total of 3,242 single-family units last year, down 49 percent from the previous year and the lowest single-family total since 1982, when 2,553 homes were started.

Single-family permits slowed to a seasonally adjusted crawl of 155 units in December, down from a revised total of 196 units in November.

While single-family construction downshifted, multi-family picked up the pace last year. Multi-family construction surged 64 percent last year. That was the second-best performance for rental apartments, townhomes and condominiums since 2002, trailing only the 2,605 multifamily units permitted in 2006.

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