PLYMOUTH, Minn. - Housing construction both nationally and locally seems to be rebounding.
The Commerce Department reports builders started construction on single-family houses and apartments last month at the fastest rate in more than four years.
It was a 15 percent increase in September compared to August.
And the national numbers are translating in the Twin Cities.
"In February, we started back and it's been nonstop ever since," said Troy Novak, who owns Troy Novak Construction.
He estimates his home construction business has grown at least 50 percent this year compared to last.
"This summer, we haven't had any time off. I mean deer hunting is coming up and I don't know if we'll have time for that," he said with a smile.
And since builders are busy, so are inspectors, like Bill Tonn who is with the city of Plymouth.
"I wouldn't totally call it night and day," he said of this year's numbers compared to last.
He believes the amount of permits he's dolling out is significant.
"It's substantially different, yes," he said.
Steve Juetten, Plymouth's Community Development Director, says in 2009 builders built 75 homes in the city. That's compared to 280 so far this year, nearly four times the number three years ago.
Plymouth isn't alone. Other communities throughout the metro like Blaine and Woodbury are seeing just as big, if not bigger numbers.
"Builders that I have had the opportunity to talk to who I know are in different communities say they're seeing the uptick in areas that one year ago there was no activity or two years ago there was no activity," said Juetten.
That said, the increased activity does not compare to the new home construction before the great recession where communities saw about double the amount of construction compared to now.
Still the current construction boom is a sign of an economy on the mend in what still appears to be a weak recovery.
"I'm not much on economics, but I know construction is going well for us," said Tonn.
It's going well for inspectors and builders.
"I can't even keep up," said Novak. "There's a lot of work right now."
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