Housing starts in the metro area have had a highly promising start to 2012, and Eastern Jackson County is holding it own.

Housing starts in the metro area have had a highly promising start to 2012, and Eastern Jackson County is holding it own.

Cities in eight metro counties issued 915 permits to build new single-family homes in the first four months of the year. That’s up 52.2 percent from the same period in 2011. Those figures are from the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City, which tracks four counties in Missouri (Jackson, Clay, Platte and Cass) and four in Kansas (Leavenworth, Wyandotte, Johnson and Miami).

Eastern Jackson County has enjoyed a substantial jump, too – 41.1 percent.

That includes:

Independence with 20 permits, up from 16. Blue Springs with 19, up from 11. Grain Valley holding steady at 11. Lee’s Summit with 66, up from 45, as that city alone has accounted for more than half of Eastern Jackson County’s increase.

Kansas City continues to lead all area cities, with 184 permits so far this year; all but a handful of those were issued in Platte and Clay counties. Olathe is No. 2, with 132, and Overland Park is No. 3 with 103. But three Eastern Jackson County cities are in the top 10: Lee’s Summit at No. 4, Independence at No. 9 and Blue Springs at No. 10.

Platte County is really surging, up 152 percent since 2011. Together with Clay County, the area north of the river accounts for one-third of the market. That’s taking a little bit of market share from counties on the Kansas side and, yes, some from Eastern Jackson County, which has accounted for 13.9 percent of permits in the eight-county area so far this year, down from 15 percent a  year ago.

Still, six of the eight counties have seen double-digit growth so far this year. Although they are nowhere the new-home starts of years past – March 2006 alone exceeded the total for the first four months of 2012 – these are the highest first-four-month figures since 2008.

Full steam ahead?
Quick reminder: I have a new blog at www.examiner.net/community/blogs on local and regional transportation issues. The latest posting is about the effects of a pending federal transportation bill on Jackson County’s plans for a rail-based transit system.