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REAL ESTATE : Most Construction Still on the Rise in Orange County, Two Reports Say

February 17, 1989|Michael Flagg, Times staff writer

Construction may be slowing down elsewhere, but not in Orange County. Two new reports show gains in 1988 in most types of construction in the county.

The F.W. Dodge Group, a McGraw-Hill unit in New York that keeps track of building contracts, said contracts for construction of offices, stores, factories and other commercial buildings totaled $1.4 billion in Orange County last year, up 4% from $1.3 billion in 1987.

Construction contracts for homes and apartments rose 8%, to $1.9 billion from $1.8 billion, although neither the commercial nor residential construction categories factors out the impact of inflation on these figures.

Meanwhile the number of building permits issued by local governments for single-family homes rose 22.6% last year, from 9,368 in 1987 to 11,486, says the Construction Industry Research Board in Burbank. But multifamily units--condominiums and apartments--dropped 22.6%, the board said, from 15,330 units in 1987 to 11,864 last year.

Altogether, housing units were off 5.5% in the county last year due to the plunge in multifamily units, according to the research board, a sign that the housing inventory could get tighter and keep prices in some types of housing and in certain areas rising sharply.

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