The city issued $480 million worth of building permits in January, up 35% from a year earlier.
Patrick Jankowski is vice president for research at the Greater Houston Partnership. He says people will often choose the first month of the year to launch projects, after spending the prior year doing everything from purchasing land to hiring contractors. So what set this January apart?
"Construction's always one of the last sectors to recover, and we're really starting to see the strength in that recovery right now. There's been some pent-up demand, some delay in projects, because they didn't know whether the market could bear it. But with as strong as the job market has been, as strong as exports have been, I think everyone's feeling much more comfortable about going ahead with projects that they may have had on the drawing board during the weaker parts of the economy."
Commercial permits accounted for more than half of new building permits by value. One of the biggest drivers was a surge in new office construction. The city issued permits for nine office buildings with a total value of $56 million dollars. That's more than 200 times the value of office building permits issued in January of last year.