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Fort Worth residential building permits nearly at pre-recession levels

Residential building permits issued by Fort Worth last year almost reached pre-recession levels, reflecting the upswing in housing nationwide, according to a city report released this week.

The number of residential permits issued for construction as well as remodeling is still well below a 10-year peak reached in 2004, the report shows.

While the number of commercial building permits is also below what was recorded before the Great Recession, the value of commercial permits reached a record $1.7 billion, thanks to some big projects that started in 2013, the report says. Commercial permits cover multifamily, industrial, retail and office developments.

“We had a very good year,” Randle Harwood, the city’s planning and development director, told the City Council on Tuesday. “The cycle that’s occurring is a very positive cycle. It’s trending in the right direction.”

In all, 10,576 permits were issued, with a value of $2.3 billion, surpassing the previous high of $2.2 billion in 2006.

In 2013, residential permits reached 8,115 and totaled $642 million. Of those, 4,712 were for new single-family homes, duplexes and town homes, for a value of $597.8 million.

At the height of a residential building boom in 2004, the city issued 13,386 permits, with a value of $1 billion. That dropped to a low in 2012, when 6,927 residential permits were issued, with a value of $498 million.

On the commercial side, permits issued in 2013 totaled 2,461, with a value of $1.7 billion. Of those, 856 were for new projects with a total value of $1.3 billion.

Commercial permits peaked in 2007, with 3,161 issued at a value of $1.1 billion. The previous high value in commercial permits was in 2008, when 3,123 permits were worth $1.4 billion.

Harwood said the anticipated rise in home building this year in the Metroplex will mean about a 9 percent increase in new homes in Fort Worth, or a population growth of just under 13,000.

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