Blue Springs is just tearing it up.

The Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City has released June new-home permit figures for the eight-county metro area. Blue Springs issued 24 permits, for a total of 257 in the first half of the year. That’s triple its number in the same period in 2017.

Housing construction started the year a little slow in the metro area, compared with 2017, but it’s almost closed that gap, and the HBA says that’s because Jackson and Johnson counties have offset declines elsewhere. Specifically, it points to Blue Springs and Lenexa.

Yes, Independence is up from 47 in 2017 to 81 now – an impressive jump of 72 percent. Grain Valley – 45 in 2017 and 54 now – is up 20 percent. Also impressive.

But Blue Springs has shaken up the traditional top four: Kansas City, Mo., Olathe, Lee’s Summit and Overland Park. Blue Springs is No. 3 for the first half of the year. It was No. 10 at this point last year. No. 4 Lee’s Summit is down 15.6 percent in permits.

Overall, Eastern Jackson County is up 31 percent. At this point in 2017, it had accounted for 16.2 percent of new-home starts in the metro area. This year, it’s 21.4 percent.

Multifamily housing continues to slide across the area. It’s down 0.5 percent compared with the first half of 2017 but down 45 percent compared with the first half of 2016. The HBA doesn’t break down those numbers down by city or county.

Home prices are ticking upward as well. In the first half of the year, sales closed on 5,471 homes in Jackson County, a slight gain from 2017, according to the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors and Heartland MLS. The average price was $196,485, up 7.5 percent. The median price – half were higher, half lower – was $165,000, up 5.1 percent. Homes were on the market about seven weeks – a week less than last year – and sellers have gotten 97.1 percent of their original asking price.

Quick hits

Lion’s Choice says it has broken ground at Little Blue Parkway and Interstate 70 in Independence, one of two Kansas City locations to open by the end of the year. The other is on 135th Street in OIathe. The St. Louis company is well known for its roast beef. It has sent its food truck – the Lean Roast Beef Machine – to Kansas City in case you want to get an early taste. … Missouri’s gross domestic product rose 2.4 percent in the first quarter of this year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. That’s higher than all of our immediate neighbors except Iowa, at 2.9 percent. Four states – Colorado, South Dakota, Washington and Utah – exceeded 3 percent. Arkansas came in at a flat zero, just ahead of North Dakota, minus 0.6 percent. Kansas was up 0.5 percent.

Jeff Fox is The Examiner’s editor. Reach him at 816-350-6365 or He’s on Twitter at @FoxEJC.