Hammers still swinging

South Dakota State Roundup

Published January 1, 2007  | January 2007 issue

While the downturn in housing has many wringing their hands, builders in South Dakota just keep pounding nails.

Through the first nine months of 2006, the total number of housing permits was down nationwide and in every district state—except South Dakota—over the comparable period in 2005, according to permit data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin all saw steep declines, ranging from about 20 percent to 33 percent. Total housing permits also declined in Montana and North Dakota, though more modestly.

South Dakota, on the other hand, saw total housing permits grow 12 percent during this nine-month period. The growth didn't come from single-family housing, however. Similar to the nation, single-family permits in South Dakota dropped by about 200, or 5 percent.

Rather, all of the growth is attributable to multifamily housing, which more than doubled from the period a year earlier; the large majority of permits were in projects with more than five units, rather than duplexes or smaller apartment buildings.

Ronald A. Wirtz