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Bussell Building, led by Tyler, left, and Kenny Bussell, is developing on 200 acres in Battlefield to fill a housing shortage in the area. They’re pictured above in December 2019.
SBJ file photo
Bussell Building, led by Tyler, left, and Kenny Bussell, is developing on 200 acres in Battlefield to fill a housing shortage in the area. They’re pictured above in December 2019.

Report: Area’s residential permits drop in 2019

Posted online

A drop in permitted multifamily housing units was mostly to blame for an overall decrease in area residential permits last year, according to the Ozarks Transportation Organization’s annual growth trends report.

Total residential units permitted in 2019 came to 1,173, a nearly 38% decrease from 1,884 in 2018. Multifamily permits dropped 73% to 263, while single-family units were up 1.4% to 914, according to the report from the OTO, a metropolitan planning organization covering Springfield and the surrounding areas.

“This isn’t unusual,” OTO analyst Dave Faucett said via email. “If you look at multifamily permits, they have followed a three-year cycle of ‘boom and bust.’”

A so-called boom and bust cycle, according to Investopedia.com, is a repeating process of economic expansion and contraction.

The report covers Springfield, Battlefield, Nixa, Ozark, Republic, Strafford, Willard and other areas of Greene and Christian counties.

In Springfield, building permits were down overall to 122, an 83% decrease from 731 units in 2018. Again, multifamily was to blame, with an 87% drop to 95 units in 2019.

“Springfield is land-locked, so to speak. They haven’t annexed in anything in a long time,” Faucett said.

Only three areas posted increases during 2019 in overall residential units permitted. Outside Springfield, Greene County building permits were up to 381 from 341; Strafford was up to 15 from eight; and Nixa moved up to 248 from 247, according to the report.

Springfield Business Journal in December reported several homebuilders are responding to housing shortages in the area. For example, Bussell Building Inc. at the time was developing six new subdivisions, totaling 1,246 lots available. One of them is in Battlefield, where 200 acres are in the preliminary stages.

On the OTO report, Battlefield’s overall residential building permits declined 87% to 14 in 2019.

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