BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. -- Developers are building more homes in the Kansas City metro area than any time since 2007.
Statistics collected by the Homebuilders Association of Greater Kansas City show municipalities in the nine-county metro permitted 4,639 single family homes this year through September. This is roughly 400 more than during the same time period in 2016.
Homebuilders said the trend is a strong indicator of economic prosperity and a sign the industry is recovering from the crash in 2007.
“Just like the economy is going well right now, a lot of that is due to the homebuilding industry and how things are going so well for us,” said Shawn Woods, president of Ashlar Homes.
He said when developers are building, it creates work for plumbers, electricians and other craftsmen. Plus, more people shop at hardware, paint and furnishing stores.
The current building boom is partially fueled by low supply. Because developers built so few homes immediately after the crash, there are fewer for homebuyers to choose from. That means prices are high.
Woods said at one point, developers were building more than 10,000 single family homes per year across the metro.
“We've had multiple years where we've not been normal, so the housing stock is not there to take care of Kansas City's needs,” Woods explained. “It will take a few more years to get back to that equilibrium.”
The Homebuilders Association statistics from 2017 showed the highest number of new permits came from cities in Johnson County, Kansas, when compared to the same timeframe last year.
The five cities with the most new homes so far this year are KCMO, Olathe, Lee’s Summit, Overland Park and KCK.
Platte County was the only metro county with fewer new home permits in 2017 than 2016.
Between 2010 and 2016, the number of single family home permits for the entire metro rose from roughly 2,500 to 5,500.
Woods said people commissioning new homes want less square footage, but top of the line furnishings and a lot of outdoor and entertaining space.