Housing permits booming in Northern Colorado

Residential housing permits are booming in Larimer and Weld counties.

Figures recently released by the US Census Bureau show that 700 new single-family building permits were issued in Larimer County in 2011, followed closely by Weld County with 687. That makes them the fourth and fifth most active counties in the state, according to the Colorado Division of Housing.

The number of single-family permits issued by Larimer County increased by 46 percent compared to 2010, but statewide permits remain well below the 31,000 issued in 2006, and even the 12,000 in 2008. The 2011 total for single-family housing permits in all Colorado counties was 7,215.

Of those, El Paso County issued the most – 1,561 – followed by Douglas and Denver with 963 and 714, respectively.

Larimer was also among the counties that issued the most permits for multifamily housing last year. Of the 3,946 permits issued for apartment units statewide, 470 were in Larimer County. Only the Front Range counties of Denver, Douglas, El Paso and Jefferson issued more. Weld County issued no new multifamily construction permits last year.

“With so little demand for new condominiums right now, it is safe to assume that the lopsided majority of new multifamily permits being issued are for rental housing,” said Ryan McMaken of the Division of Housing. “With apartment vacancy rates headed to 5 percent in Denver, Larimer and El Paso counties, the markets appear to be responding to tight vacancies with plans for future construction.”

However, the number of multifamily permits issued in 2011 in Larimer County actually decreased by 26 percent over 2010. A “multifamily permit” refers to one unit in a building of five or more units.

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