Home-building permits tumble 22 percent
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KENOSHA COUNTY (MCT) --Building permits for new homes in Wisconsin's biggest metro areas dropped 22% in August compared to the same time a year ago, the third consecutive month that home construction permits trailed totals from 2009.
The slump is blunting an early-year revival of new home construction in the Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Fox Valley and Racine-Kenosha areas. However, through August, building permits still were up over a weak 2009 by nearly 12%, according to data gathered by MTD Market Services of Wisconsin Inc.
A slowdown was expected after federal tax credits for homebuyers expired at the end of April. But Dominic Collar, owner of Oshkosh-based MTD, said another issue is whether potential new-home customers can sell their existing home at an acceptable price during a slow residential real estate market.
''This will continue to be a major factor in new home construction," Collar said.
In August, permits to build single-family homes or duplexes decreased in four of the five large metro areas. Only the Racine-Kenosha area had an increase, rising to 29 in August of this year compared with 12 in the same month in 2009.
In metro Milwaukee, permits slipped about 27%, going to 69 from 94 a year ago in August. The other areas where permits fell year-over-year in August: Dane County, to 49 from 56; Green Bay, 32 from 55; and Fox Valley, 35 from 58.