One aspect of home-building that seems to be doing nicely despite the industrywide recession is home additions and alterations. In April, the most recent month for which information is available, permits worth $21.5 million were issued--the most in any month since last August. That was 28% more than in March.
The total for the January-April period was $69.6 million. That's just 1% less than during last year's comparable four months and more than 1988 or 1989.
Traditionally, the value of permits issued for home alterations/additions is a small fraction of the total residential building spending. The other two parts of the quotient--single-family homes and multi-family homes--normally dominate the totals. But during the first four months of the year, though, alterations and additions accounted for a full one-fifth of the total.
Here's the larger picture on home alterations:
Compared to recent years, permit valuations for the first four months of this year are holding steady: 1991: $69,613 1990: $70,290 1989: $69,600 1988: $60,062
PART OF THE WHOLE
The value of home alteration permits was actually higher during the first four months of the year than was the total for new multi-family homes--condos, apartments and the like. Singlefamily homes: 60%
Multifamiliy homes: 19
Source: Construction Industry Research Board