By Colleen Flaherty
Killeen Daily Herald

Despite recent national reports of a building slump, new home permit applications in Killeen have only increased in recent months.

Nationwide, in February, home construction dropped 22.5 percent in February from January to a seasonally adjusted 479,000 homes, according to information released Wednesday by the Commerce Department. Building permits, an indicator of future construction, dropped 8.1 percent from January, to some of the lowest levels on record.

By contrast, the City of Killeen received payment for 92 building permits for new, single family homes in February, up from 74 in January.

About 80 single family home permits have been paid for already this month, according to information from Killeen’s permitting department.

Part of the uptick in permits this month has to do with changes to the building code that take effect in April, Chief Building Inspector Larry Carson said, but Killeen has experienced a generally rosy

building outlook over the last several years.

Permit levels were about 10 percent higher in January and February of 2010, according to information from the permitting office, but Carson said his day-to-day work hasn’t slowed any over the last year.

“I think we’ve been blessed,” he said, adding that commercial building is also strong. “A lot of cities have slowed way down.”

Single family homes account for about 80 percent of home construction nationwide.