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Monthly Update: Building Permits

September '20
Published on 11/2/20
Building Permits September 2020

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City of Houston building permits totaled $6.7 billion for the 12 months ending September ’20, down 8.1 percent from $7.2 billion for the same period in ’19, according to the latest data released by the city’s Public Works Department. Commercial permits fell 8.9 percent to $4.0 billion and residential permits dropped 2.8 percent to $2.7 billion. 

City building permits totaled $744.3 million in September ’20, up 3.3 percent from $720.6 million in September ’19. Commercial permit values totaled $509.9 million, up 39.8 percent from 364.7 million in ’19. Residential permits were $234.4 million, a decrease of 34.1 percent from $355.8 million in ’19. The combined total permit values for the months of June, July and August were the lowest they’ve been since 2012, with many projects either having been postponed or canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is possible that many of these projects have resumed activity, as September’s values were the highest they’ve been since 2014. 

Projects of note that were permitted in September:

  • Baylor St. Luke’s ($81.9 million combined permit value) obtained building permits for its new O’Quinn Tower at the McNair Campus, as well as an eight-story connecting garage. The new 12-story medical tower comes as part of the health system's multiyear hospital replacement project, eventually relocating all of the system's clinical care services to its McNair Campus.
  • HCA Houston Healthcare ($22.0 million permit value) received an additional permit in September for a garage to accompany its five-story, 116,500-square-foot medical office building, currently under construction. The new building is part of a larger master-planned expansion for the Women’s Hospital of Texas campus, allowing for the inclusion of new providers as well as adding  more room for larger practice groups.  

Prepared by Greater Houston Partnership Research Division 

Heather Duran
Manager, Research

Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Senior Vice President, Research

Building Activity Key Economic Indicators Real Estate
$744.3 million

City of Houston building permits totaled $744.3 million in September '20

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