Area homebuilding is up 30 percent

The homebuilding industry in the Kansas City area continued its recovery during the first quarter with 832 single-family permits issued, up 30 percent from last year.

Johnson County showed the strongest growth with 394 permits issued in the first three months of 2013, 47 percent of the metropolitan total, according to the latest report from the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City.

Clay and Platte counties in the Northland combined for 206 single-family permits, about 25 percent of the total. That strong performance helped Kansas City lead the metropolitan area in single-family permits issued with 140 through March.

Kansas City was followed by Olathe, with 132 single-family permits; Overland Park, 102; Kansas City, Kan./Wyandotte County, 55; Lee’s Summit, 54; Shawnee, 44; Lenexa, 41; Platte County outside the city, 34; Leawood, 24; and Independence, 18.

In addition, Johnson County reported permits issued for 129 multi-family rental units.

The Home Builders Association reported that Kansas City is off to its best start since 2008. The news comes as the organization prepares for its annual Spring Parade of Homes starting Saturday. There will be 322 new homes showcased throughout the area.

“Building is up, remodeling is up, competition is up with builders re-entering the market and the Parade of Homes entries are up,” said Sara Corless, executive vice president of the Home Builders Association.

“All of this rolled together signals to consumers the opportunity to buy a new home is now especially good, with interest rates continuing at historic lows.”

The Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors reported this week that sales of new homes were up 11 percent in March, and the average sales price of a new home had risen 6 percent to $336,181. The inventory of new homes was down 9 percent to 1,063.