Broadnax Hemorrhages Homebuilding Permits in Q1

Building Permit
Building Permit | Image by Bill Oxford/Getty Images

The City of Dallas saw a slowdown in the number of new single-family permit applications issued in the first quarter of 2024, a sign that developers are easing back on homebuilding activity amid higher borrowing costs and stricter lending standards from banks.

Dallas’ Development Services Department (DSD) received 479 new single-family building permits throughout the first three months of 2024, down from 577 and 511 in Q3 and Q4 2023, respectively, according to the latest data from the City’s Residential Permit Activity Dashboard.

The number of new single-family permit applications issued by DSD also slowed quarter over quarter. Overall, DSD issued 479 homebuilding permits in Q1 2024, down from 580 and 525 in the back half of 2023.

Easing permit activity was not the only metric to take a hit during the first three months of 2024. The median turnaround time was also impacted.

In 2023, DSD lowered its median turnaround time from 78 days to six days, marking a 92.3% decrease over the year.

While DSD’s median turnaround time bottomed out at six days in December 2023, the department recorded an uptick in January (10 days) and February (eight days). Despite the increased issuance time, data shows that DSD was able to lower its median turnaround time back down to six days in March.

Even though DSD has cleared its residential permit backlog, the department is still working to improve operational efficiency, customer service, and pre-screen reviews.

Over the quarter, DSD completed nearly 100% of its initial reviews within two weeks. Out of the 317 initial reviews completed by DSD during the first three months of 2024, only one application exceeded the department’s 15-day goal.

Since taking over as Dallas’ chief building official and DSD director in the summer of 2022, Andrew Espinoza has overhauled the permit-intake process, established new customer-centric initiatives, and added new communication channels to promote transparency with the development community, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

Many of the department’s issues became increasingly apparent under the leadership of Dallas’ outbound city manager, T.C. Broadnax. Additionally, crime, taxes, and City spending all increased on his watch. Broadnax will be resigning in a matter of weeks to take up the same position in Austin. He will be replaced by his deputy, Kim Tolbert.

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