Development

Area home construction up, commercial work down in first quarter

Updated: 2013-05-01T04:29:16Z

By KEVIN COLLISON

The Kansas City Star

The construction economy in metro Kansas City has been a tale of two cities in the first quarter. Residential work was up sharply compared with last year. Commercial activity fell off.

Residential construction contracts worth $357.1 million were issued in the first three months of 2013, up 90 percent from the $187.5 million the same period a year ago, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, a national trade publication. The residential category includes single-family homes, duplexes and apartments.

The McGraw-Hill report reinforces recent reports from the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City that shows single-family permits up sharply in the metro and an increased amount of apartment construction.

On the flip side, commercial construction was down significantly the first quarter reflecting few new construction starts in office, retail and other categories. Non-residential construction contracts dropped 49 percent to $186.7 million. There were $362.8 million in contracts issued during the first quarter of 2012.

The decline in non-residential work during the first quarter brought the overall total for metro construction activity down 1 percent compared with a year ago to $543.8 million, according to McGraw-Hill.

For the month of March alone, non-residential work declined 68 percent to $63.6 million compared with March 2012. Residential construction in March doubled to $155 million.

McGraw-Hill includes commercial, manufacturing, educational, religious, administrative and hotels in its non-residential construction category.

To reach Kevin Collison, call 816-234-4289 or send email to kcollison@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @kckansascity.

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