Building permit values in Fort Smith, Greenwood and Van Buren, combined to total $9.054 million in July, down significantly from the $14.548 million June total, and similarly down compared to July 2011, when tri-city permit values tallied $14.864 million.
The month-to-month decline of 39.08% is consistent with year-to-date comparisons throughout the first seven months of the year, which represent a decline of 40.53%. Values through July 2012 are at $75.866 million for the three cities, compared to $127.564 million during the same period of 2011.
During the first seven months, Fort Smith claimed the largest share with $60.297 million (a one-year decline from $116.595 million of about 48.29%), while Van Buren was the next largest with $10.739 million (a one-year increase from $6.484 million of approximately 34.38%). Greenwood posted an additional $4.829 million, which was up slightly from last year's $4.485 million (about 7.12%).
The city of Fort Smith logged 186 permits during July totaling $6.996 million, down considerably from last month’s $11.288 million tally on 197 permits.
For the month, new home construction and repair accounted for more than half the figure with $3.356 million on 97 permits, while commercial remodeling, alterations, and repairs, totaled approximately $2.873 million on 23 permits. No new commercial construction permits were issued.
Compared to July 2011, Fort Smith’s valuation has decreased approximately 50% from last year’s $13.882 million total.
New home construction dominated Greenwood’s July numbers, as it has throughout the first seven months of 2012, with one permit totaling $682,560 accounting for most of the $758,795 overall valuation (on 3 total permits), more than five times the amount of $146,315 from July 2011.
Van Buren valuations and permits fell last month to $1.299 million on 36 permits, down from $2.087 million on 48 in June, but still up compared to $836,200 in July 2011.
New home and duplex construction totaled $1.086 million of the overall value and accounted for half of permits issued for the month.
Of the $127.564 million totaled through July 2011, Fort Smith logged the most with $116.595 million, thanks in large part to the Mitsubishi plant at Chaffee Crossing, which has since been mothballed by the company. That one permit, issued in January 2011, totaled $28.5 million.
Van Buren was at second place through July 2011 with $6.484 million in valuations, beating out Greenwood, which posted just $4.485 million through the same period.
Mitsubishi continues to haunt 2012 numbers, causing a year-to-date decline of a little more than 40%, but even without that permit, the Fort Smith metro area continues to underperform. If Mitsubishi had never happened, 2012 numbers would show a decrease of 23.42%, which trends further down from year-to-date comparisons in June that showed a decline of 21.35%.