It doesn't take a trendwatcher report from the real estate behemoth Trulia to tell Philadelphians that construction is hot here. Most of us can just look up – or try to walk down a Center City sidewalk– to get a sense of new building activity. But it is nice to have some numbers to back up your anecdotal evidence. And according to economists at Trulia, Philadelphia saw a pretty big increase in residential construction permits in 2015.
According to the report, our 75 percent jump over the historical norm puts us at the third-biggest building city on the list, behind Boston and New York. And while it may not shock you to learn that 70 percent of those permits relate to multi-unit (think: high-rise) construction, Philly was also just one of three cities on the list to see any growth in single home construction. Weirder still? The five percent of permit activity going toward single homes in Philly puts us in league with Houston … and Dallas. The seven other metro areas on the list saw a decrease in single home construction.
The list also begs another natural question: where is new home construction down? Trulia likes to combine Montgomery, Chester and Bucks counties into one metro region. Sometimes that works to its advantage, but in this instance, it comes out to a low in construction activity. With a 51 percent drop in new construction over the historical norm, the area is behind only Milwaukee, Cincinnati and Detroit.
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