Building permits up in Jackson, down in Cape

Monday, September 27, 2010
A house on Carriage Crossing in Cape Girardeau waits for construction to resume Sunday, January 10, 2010. (Laura Simon)

New home construction has increased in Jackson but declined in Cape Girardeau over the past three years.

In Cape Girardeau, 21 building permits for single-family homes have been issued so far this year. That's a slight increase from all of last year, when 18 building permits were issued for new homes, but a decrease from 2008, when 38 permits were granted.

In Jackson, 42 building permits for single-family homes have been issued so far this year. During all of 2009, 31 were issued; 36 permits were issued in all of 2008.

Nationally, single-family housing starts are up 11 percent in August compared to their lowest point last year, which was in January, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

"Construction has played a major role in every post-World War II economic recovery," said Mike Devaney, professor of finance at Southeast Missouri State University.

Builders are struggling as demand for housing remains weak because of dropping housing prices and so many recent foreclosures flooding the market, he said.

"Nationally, housing prices are expected to decline another 2 percent this year," he said. "In some markets, like Nevada and Florida, the decline is expected to be 5 percent, while other markets like Texas and Oklahoma may see a slight increase."

About 11 million homeowners owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth and that number will likely increase this year, Devaney said.

The number of residential additions has dropped in both Cape Girardeau and Jackson during the past three years, according to building records.

In Jackson, permits for home additions have dropped 44 percent so far this year compared to all of last year. A total of 79 permits for residential additions have been issued to date, compared to 141 addition permits granted in 2009 and 117 in 2008.

So far this year, 26 permits for home additions were issued in Cape Girardeau, up slightly from 22 in all of 2009 but down from 30 in all of 2008.

The National Association of Home Builders' monthly index of builders' sentiment was unchanged in September and is at its lowest level since March for two straight months.

"In general, builders haven't seen any reason for improved optimism in market conditions over the past month," said NAHB chairman Bob Jones in a news release last week. "If anything, consumer uncertainty has increased, and builders feel their hands are tied until potential homebuyers feel more secure about the job market and economy."


Pertinent addresses:

101 Court St., Jackson, MO

401 Independence St., Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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