Northwest Arkansas building permits up more than 43% in November

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 157 views 

Homebuilders and commercial construction crews across Northwest Arkansas were active throughout November with new permit values totaling $90.268 million among the region’s four largest cities. Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers and Bentonville together posted a 43.06% rise in new permit values over November 2014.

November building was fueled by residential growth in Fayetteville, Rogers and Springdale, while commercial activity picked up steam in Bentonville. Also, the building pace in November was indicative of the growth pattern of the entire year as new permit values through the past 11 months total more than $785.93 million, rising 21.16% over the $648.67 million reported by the same cities last year.

The four cities reported $32.329 million in new residential permits in November, up 40.92% over the same month last year. Builders requested 128 new housing permits among the four cities last month, higher than the 72 new residential permits issued by the same cities in November 2014. Only Bentonville saw a dip in residential permit values in November. Following are the November residential permit values for each city.
• Bentonville: $8.875 million, down compared to $9.867 million in November 2014
• Fayetteville: $7.162 million, up compared to $6.645 million in November 2014
• Rogers: $8.662 million, up compared to $3.979 million in November 2014
• Springdale: $7.627 million, up compared to $2.448 million in November 2014

The steady work has been good for construction employment in the two-county region. The region has grown construction jobs 2% year-over-year adding 200 jobs through November, compared to the same period last year, according to the Associated General Contractors of America.

Real estate veteran Brett Hash recently told Talk Business & Politics that he has several developments underway in the Cave Springs area and Bentonville School District which are selling well. He said the region has come back from the recession and the supply glut that sent home prices down as much as 30% peak to trough, according to local economists.

Kathy Deck, director for the Center of Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas, said home prices have fully recovered and the residential expansion underway through 2015 appears to be at a sustainable rate.

On a national level, homebuilder sentiment has not been quite as rosy. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index for November slipped to 62, down three points from a revised reading of 65 in October. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor. The index has been consistently above 50 since July last year.

Builders’ view of sales conditions and their outlook for sales over the next six months also declined. A measure of traffic by prospective buyers rose slightly in November, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

The commercial construction pace across the region has been active all year, and November was no different. The four cities issued several large permits with a total value of $57.939 million in November. Values rose 44.28% from the $40.156 million reported a year ago.

Bentonville led the way last month with a $23.212 million project for the new 8W business complex located at 8th & Walton. The city also issued a permit valued at $4.921 million for a new office complex for CrossMar at 1500 E. Central. The other large permit issued by the city ($750,284) was for a new 4-wheeler dealership located at 3011 S.E. Moberly Lane.

Springdale also saw an uptick in its commercial permits in November. A plant expansion at American Tubing located at 2264 Turnbow Ave. was valued at $6.98 million. Springdale issued new commercial permits valued at $7.165 million, up 196% from the same month last year.

In Fayetteville, two new large office complexes passed the permit stage in November. The city’s commercial permits totaled $6.243 million, down from $10.01 million from the same month last year.

The city of Rogers issued a few commercial permits in November for smaller projects totaling $1.926 million. This paled in comparison to the the $21.291 million reported a year ago thanks to the $20 million Hunt Venture’s Office complex still under construction in the Pinnacle Hills area.

CVS/Pharmacy has eyed a new location at 1749 Walnut St. in Rogers, according to permits recently filed with the Arkansas Health Department. Retailer Stein Mart has also planned to locate at 210 Promenade Blvd., according to the permit on file with the health department. These permits are typically filed three to four months before the city permits and can provide an early look at retail establishments planning to locate to or expand in the region.