Tri-Cities commercial permits up in Q3, growth rate leads E. Tenn.


Tri-Cities new commercial construction permits are showing a steady improvement from a disappointing performance last year with a growth rate that has led East Tennessee so far this year.

Tri commercialAccording to The Market Edge’s Q3 Building Permit Trend Report 178 new permits were issued  in Q3, compared to 159 during the same period last year. The year-to-date total – 351 permits – is 10.7% better than the first nine months of 2014 and are 1.9% ahead of the 2013 Q3 pace.

Market Edge President Dale Akins cautions that the “commercial building permit trends are actually NOT a reliable “trend indicator” due to the differences in how commercial construction projects are permitted. For example: permits for a 200 unit apartment complex could be issued as 1 permit, 1 permit per building, or 1 permit per unit, depending upon the requirements of the local code enforcement office.” However, the report does provide a benchmark to monitor commercial permits across East Tennessee.

The bulk of the quarter’s growth came in the region’s two largest counties with Sullivan County running slightly ahead of Washington County in both the number of permits for the quarter and year-to-date growth. So far this year permits are up 14.8% over last year in Sullivan while Washington Co. TN permits for the first nine months of the year are 13.2% better than last year.

Permit value in Sullivan County – $82.7 million – also lead the region. Washington County was a distant second with $43.5 million closely followed by Washington County VA – $30.2 million and Greene Co. – $29.2 million.-

Greene County hasn’t kept pace with last year’s year-to-date construction but did see a slight increase in the number of Q3 permits.

Greene, Scott and Washington Co. VA are all lagging the year-to-date permit total from last year.

The year-to-year permit growth rate for the Tri-Cities has also consistently outperformed the Chattanooga and Knoxville regions so far this year.

When compared to year-to-date total Tri-Cities permits were up 10.7% compared to 5.9% in Knoxville. Chattanooga has seen a 14.1% declined so far this year when compared to the same period last year.

Third quarter permit were up 11.9% in the Tri-Cities compared to Q3 last year.

The Knoxville region saw an 11.1% Q3 increase from last year while Chattanooga permits were 27.3% lower in Chattanooga than they were in Q3 last year.

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