Residential Construction Value Rises 22.8 Percent

Article excerpt

permitted residential construction in corporate Oklahoma City jumped 22.8 percent in the first quarter, marking the first quarterly increase in three years, according to the Oklahoma City Department of Management Information Systems.

In addition, although commercial construction valuation dropped below $10 million for the first time since 1985, valuation of permitted office construction made its first increase in five years, according to the June report of the department publication, "Oklahoma City Status and Change."

Valuation of permits for single family construction rose 10.6 percent to $16.09 million from $14.5 million a year ago, representing the first quarterly increase since 1985, when the department began keeping valuation records.

A sharp increase in valuation for permitted multi-family construction, to $5.4 million from $3 million the previous year, brought overall residential construction valuation to $21.49 million in the first quarter of 1989, up 22.8 percent from $17.5 million in 1988.

Total commercial construction permit valuation fell to $9.4 million from $22 million for the first quarter of 1988.

Single family construction - The number of permitted units rose 11.4 percent to 244 from 219, but the average unit cost fell to $74,100 in the first quarter of 1989 from $76,400 in 1988.

"This would be consistent with our national ranking among the communities with the least expensive housing," said Margaret Farmer, assistant planner of the department.

About 40 percent, or 100 units, of all single family residential permits were issued for the northwest section of corporate Oklahoma City. This is up from 93 permits a year ago and 101 units the last quarter of 1988.

A total of 20 permits were issued for the northeast, while in the southwest quadrant, 32 percent of the city total, or 79 units, were permitted.

The southeast sector had 45 single family permits for the first quarter of 1989.

"Consistency might be the key word for residential construction in this sector," said Farmer. "Quarter after quarter, in good times and bad, there are usually between 40 and 80 permits issued in the southeast."

Multi-family construction - A total of 169 multi-family units were permitted in the first quarter, all in the northeast, compared to 52 in the northwest the previous year. Only nine were issued in 1987, divided between the northwest and the southwest.

The permit for 169 units represented multi-family retirement housing.

"In the last year, three projects of multi-family retirement housing have been permitted," Farmer noted.

"Analysts have obviously determined that Oklahoma City, with its moderate climate and relatively low cost of living, is a desirable location for independent retirement living. …

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