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City of St. Louis Lagging Behind as Homebuilding Recovers

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St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay (Photo: KMOX)

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay (Photo: KMOX)

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ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–The recession-battered homebuilding industry is climbing out of its sick bed this spring — with single family permits up 29 percent across the region — but problems persist in the city where new home construction is flat.

“Perceptions are probably holding the city back, the same as they have the last few decades,” said Pat Sullivan, Vice President of the Home Builder’s Association of St. Louis, “That involves the school system, crime, congestion and air quality.”

Region wide, the Homebuilder’s Association expects to see 4,000 new homes constructed this year. That compares to the high-water mark of 14,000 homes built her in 2005.

Leading the recovery is St. Charles County, where 32 percent of all new homes in the region are expected to be built this year. The city of St. Louis is expected to account for only one-half of one percent of the region’s new homes this year, Sullivan said.

“The city is going to do fine. It’s going to re-emerge,” Sullivan said, “It’s just not going to be as fast as some of the other submarkets within the region.”

Mayor Slay says he’s been tracking the slow pace of the city’s housing recovery and blames several factors. “We haven’t seen yet the uptick in the residential market that we’d like to see,” Slay said, “We’ve got a lot of available homes and we’ve got some foreclosure issues.”

Slay says he expects to see new home construction pick up in the city, if Paul McKee’s northside redevelopment plan gets underway. The plan, which would bring new homes, business and industrial centers to north St. Louis, has been tied up in court challenges for years and is currently before the Missouri Court of Appeals.

Single family housing construction permits are up this spring in St. Charles County, St. Louis County, Jefferson County, Franklin County, Lincoln County and Warren County.

Copyright KMOX

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