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Commercial Building Permits Fall 17% Despite Hurricane Harvey Repairs


New building permit data from the Greater Houston Partnership shows how Hurricane Harvey affected Houston's commercial and residential stock. Despite rebuilding efforts after the hurricane, commercial permit values fell to $3.7B issued in 2017, down 17% year over year. Residential permits are on the rise, gaining 12.5% to $2.4B issued. In total, city building permits totaled $6.1B last year, down 7.5%. 

Hurricane Harvey accounts for a large part of the difference between commercial and residential permit values. The year ended with a surge in residential permits, primarily due to post-Harvey repairs. In the four months following the storm, residential permits totaled $949M, up 76% from the same period in 2016. By comparison, Houston's commercial building stock was spared from flooding. Commercial permit values totaled $1.1B from September ’17 to December ’17, down 6.5% from the prior year.