DFW Permit Activity Dips, Broadnax Lags on Commercial

Construction workers
Construction workers | Image by Bannafarsai_Stock/Shutterstock

Dallas-Fort Worth has become a hub for business and real estate development. Still, despite the region’s growth, several North Texas suburbs have seen a sharp drop in residential construction activity over the first eight months of 2023.

Single-family building permits have been sliding in the suburbs north of the metroplex, according to the latest data compiled by Addison-based Tomlin Investments, per the Dallas Business Journal.

Residential permits between January and August fell by as much as 62% in Van Alstyne, 45% in Sherman, 41% in Little Elm, 34% in Frisco, 15% in Prosper, and 13% in Denton, compared to the same eight-month period the year before.

On the other hand, data from Tomlin shows a 40% increase in single-family permits in Celina, a 16% jump in McKinney, and a 2% uptick in Melissa.

The Dallas Express emailed Tomlin Investments requesting access to the firm’s residential permit data but did not receive a response by press time.

Even though homebuilding activity has slowed in several parts of North Texas, the metroplex as a whole is still holding steady across most relevant metrics, according to Ben Caballero, CEO of HomesUSA.com.

“Considering the interest rate headwinds and market seasonality, the Dallas-Fort Worth new home market is finding its footing,” said Caballero, per the Dallas Business Journal. “By every measure — days on market, sales activity, and average prices — new homes numbers are stabilizing yet remain impressive.”

The City of Dallas — like other parts of North Texas — has been working to find a balanced footing on both the residential side of permitting as well as the commercial side. While Dallas has reduced the time required to approve residential building permits, developers still report long approval times for commercial permits, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

At the start of September, members of the Dallas City Council asked the Development Services Department (DSD) — which reviews and approves local building permits — to improve turnaround times for commercial permits.

“The Development Services Staff is working to compose the applicable Service First Bulletins … and Code Interpretations while official Amendments are incorporated into our Adopted Building and Fire Related Codes,” DSD said in a September 25 newsletter.

To increase the department’s transparency regarding commercial permit approval times, DSD said it will release a commercial permit activity dashboard by the end of 2023, which will help developers track commercial building activity in Dallas.

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