Monday, January 12, 2015

Idaho Falls building permit numbers show decline in 2014

Construction last year at Broadway Ford in Idaho Falls.
With 2014 in the rearview mirror, let’s take a look at the numbers from the city of Idaho Falls Building Department.

Year-end totals show a second year of decline. Overall, the valuation in the city’s building permits dropped from $83.5 million in 2012 to $70.7 million in 2013 to $62.4 million in 2014.
Before anyone starts hanging black crepe, here are a few things to consider:

  • Total valuation in the past three years was roughly $216 million. The three years before that — the recession years of 2009-2011 — Idaho Falls building permits totaled roughly $95 million. That’s an increase of more than 127 percent.
  • There were 31 permits issued for commercial buildings in 2014, compared to 25 in 2013 and 11 in 2012.
  • Permits for single family dwellings were down, but three-year totals tell a much more positive story. For 2012-2014, permits totaled 395. In 2009-2011, that number was 205. Overall, permits for single family dwellings in the past three years are up 92 percent.

One thing worth bearing in mind while looking at building permits is that one big project can have a huge effect on the numbers in a single year. Three years ago in Idaho Falls, it was the four schools and the Department of Energy’s campus on University Boulevard that skewed things so high. In 2013, the Scientech project at Snake River Landing. Last year, Broadway Ford and Home2 Suites, both due to open this year.

Likewise, when we look at the 2014 numbers from Ammon (as we will sometime this week), Cabela’s and the new D.L. Evans Bank are likely to make things look really robust there.