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Houston Building Permits For Year-To-Date Fall 12 Percent From 2014

Permits issued between January and September are still strong by historic standards, but the four-year construction boom appears to be over.

Construction activity continues to slow in Houston, according to the latest data from the City of Houston’s Department of Public Works. City building permits totaled $6.1 billion for the first nine months of 2015, down 11.8 percent from the same period last year.

The decline follows an extremely strong period of growth for Houston construction, fueled by business expansion tied to high oil prices.

“We have all the office space we need for a while. We have all the industrial space we need for a while. [We] don’t quite have all the housing and all the retail space we need, but we’re not going to see quite the level of construction activity going over the next 12 to 18 months that was seen over the last four years,” says Patrick Jankowski, senior vice president of research at the Greater Houston Partnership.

The slowdown in construction across Greater Houston has already cost the region 3,500 jobs since last December.

“There is a hope that maybe some of these jobs might migrate to other areas, like construction along the [Houston] Ship Channel or the road projects that are underway,” Jankowski says.

Permits for the month of September totaled $598.4 million. That’s less than half the value of those issued in September of last year, but still well above the long-term monthly average of $350 million.

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Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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