IE seeing more condominium construction

   On Tuesday, June 17, all eyes will be on May’s national numbers for housing starts and building permits.
   Perhaps there’s no other region more connected to this upcoming news than San Bernardino and Riverside counties.  In the middle of a downtrodden housing market, several local business professionals and economists aren’t expecting a pick-up in building permits any time soon.
   In the two-county region, single-family home building permits issued during the first four months of this year have dropped 85 percent compared with the same period in 2004, according to the Burbank-based Construction Industry Research Board.
   But the number of multifamily permits handed out tell somewhat of a better story.
   From January to April, 553 permits for condominiums and apartments were issued, which is up from 366 during that period in 2007, but about the same amount as were issued in that period in 2006 and 2005.
   New York-based financial research firm Fitch Ratings said last week<NO1>June 10<NO> that construction on homes nationwide for January through April of this year plunged almost 30 percent, and single-family housing starts were down almost 40 percent from April 2007 to April 2008.
   Meanwhile, “Multifamily volume (nationwide) for the first four months of 2008 rose 11.3 percent (and) April multifamily starts improved 18.6 percent,” a news release states.
   To see Fitch’s June 10 news release, click on: www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20080610006580&newsLang=en
   To view the Construction Industry Research Board’s Web site, click on: www.cirbdata.com

–matthew.wrye@inlandnewspapers.com

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