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.