Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Construction Permits Are Down


May Nonresidential Permit Values Mixed

The May nonresidential building permit value data from the Construction Industry was another mixed bag of news. In Los Angeles County through five months, industrial permits were up by 63.0% over the 2007 period, and retail was up by 20.4%. Hotel permits increased by a huge amount ($148 million this year versus nearly $14 million last year). However, office permit values were down by -57.6%. In Orange County through May, permit values for all four major nonresidential building types were down: industrial (-68.8%), office (-68.0%), retail (-79.1%), and hotels (-86.7%).

For Riverside County, the five-month permit values were mixed. Retail was on the upside (+3.8%), while $10.7 million in hotel permits had been issued compared with none last year. Industrial permit values were down by -51.9% and office was behind by -13.8%. In San Bernardino County, hotel permit values were up by 2.2%, but all the other sectors were down from last year: industrial (-37.6%), office (-56.5%), and retail (-27.2%).

The San Diego County picture was really mixed through the first five months of 2008. Industrial permit values were down by -52.7% from last year, while office was off by -2.8%. Retail permits were up by 93.0% over the comparable 2007 period, while hotel permits were up by a thumping 461.4%. Things remained slow in Ventura County through May. Office permit values through five-months were down by -75.6% over the year, while retail permits trailed by -9.0%.

In the nine-county Bay Area through five-months of 2008, office building permits were down by -3.0% over the comparable 2007 period, while retail was -10.5% behind, and hotels were down by -73.8%. However, industrial building permits were 59.6% ahead of last year, due to large projects in Alameda and Solano counties.

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