Building permits in Fort Smith, Greenwood and Van Buren were a combined $5.599 million in November, a drop of 5.81% from the same month last year when permits totaled $5.944 million.
The cities also showed a decline in values of 68.7% from October to November, with October's building permits boasting values of $17.886 million.
The declines month over month are indicative of a sluggish year overall for permits in the three cities, with the three seeing an overall decline in value of 7% for the first 11 months of 2014 compared to the first 11 months of 2013. During the period, $182.321 million in permits have been issued this year, while the same period in 2013 saw permits totaling $196.046 million.
The city of Fort Smith posted the largest 11 month total, bringing in $157.194 million, while Van Buren had permits totaling $17.768 million and Greenwood posted only $7.359 million in permits for the first 11 months of this year.
The city of Fort Smith posted 108 permits last month with a total value of $4.931 million. Compared to October's values of $15.629 million, November's figures are down 68.45%.
Values are also down compared to the same month last year, when Fort Smith issued $5.399 million in permits, resulting in a decline in permit values of 8.66%.
Commercial construction showed the most strength in November, with a total of $3.488 million in permits issued. Of those 19 commercial permits issued, six were for remodels totaling a cumulative $3.067 million.
Residential construction, which had been boasting strong numbers for much of the year, was weaker in November with only 68 permits issued with a value of $1.156 million.
GREENWOOD, VAN BUREN
The city of Greenwood only issued two permits last month totaling $24,260. The permits issued were for a $10,000 commercial repair/remodel and a $14,260 residential repair/remodel.
Compared to November 2013 when $177,990 in permits were issued, November 2014's total represents a decline in values of 86.37%.
The only city to see an increase in building permit values was Van Buren, which saw values increase 75.11% from $367,600 in November 2013 to $643,700 in November 2014.
Driving Van Buren's totals were nine residential building permits totaling $448,800. Additionally, a commercial remodel at the Best Western Motel located at 1903 North 6th Street had a permit totaling $100,000.
Combined values in the three cities during 2013 were $203.037 million, compared to $157.32 million during 2012. The 2013 value is above the $201.079 million in 2011.
Fort Smith closed 2013 with the largest share of valuations, logging $177.687 million (a one-year increase of about 30.24% from $136.428 million in 2012), while Van Buren was the next largest with $17.067 million (a one-year increase of 38.96% from $12.282 million in 2012). Greenwood posted an additional $8.283 million, the only city to show a decrease from the previous year's total of $8.609 million (a decrease of 3.79%).
The gains in the Fort Smith market were largely from industrial construction projects at Chaffee Crossing, the construction of Mercy's new orthopedic hospital along Phoenix Avenue and various municipal construction projects across the city.