Area builders see continued improvement

The metropolitan Kansas City homebuilding market continued to improve last month with 224 single-family home permits issued, the most since 2008 and 23 percent more than the same month a year ago.

Home construction activity has improved for 14 consecutive months, according to the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City. Single-family permits so far this year are up 34.3 percent from a year ago.

“Builders are encouraged that they saw early buyers last month but are concerned about the possibility of rising building material costs, labor availability, increasing lot costs and continuing tax uncertainties,” Sara Corless, executive vice president of the association, said in a statement.

Still, she said the improved numbers bode well for the Spring Parade of Homes Show, which is March 22-24 at Bartle Hall.

Increased hiring in the homebuilding industry nationwide was a large factor in the U.S. unemployment rate declining to 7.7 percent last month.

In the metro area, most counties increased their single-family permit numbers, with slight decreases in Clay and Platte counties, the builders reported. So far this year, Johnson County has the most permits with 221. It is followed by Jackson County, 75; Clay County, 70; Platte County, 48; and Wyandotte, 38.

Kansas City had the most permits issued so far this year, 90. It was followed by Overland Park, 66; Olathe, 62; and Kansas City, Kan./Wyandotte County, 36.