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ORLANDO-Building permit activity for multifamily and single-family shelter in the metro area is slowing for the first time since June 1999, according to a new study completed by Dr. David F. Scott Jr., executive director of the Dr. Phillips Institute for the Study of American Business Activity.

“Orlando’s cooling over the first half did moderate a tad from the 38.1% slippage evidenced over the first-quarter comparison,” Scott tells GlobeSt.com.

The Institute’s quarterly index of private construction intensity ranked Orlando seventh highest in the nation, behind Las Vegas, the Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill area, Phoenix-Mesa, Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill and Austin, TX-San Marcos.

Orlando generated 13.56 authorized building permits for single and multifamily dwellings when scaled per 1,000 non-farm jobs within the local metropolitan statistical area. This volume was 25.7% decline from the comparable 1999 period.

“A meaningful drop,” notes Scott.

By comparison, the top five performing MSAs as a group were down by a lesser 12.5%. Florida was the only state to place four metro areas within the top 20 ranking. Jacksonville, FL placed 10th; Tampa-St. Petersburg came in at 18th; and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood occupied the 20th slot.

Not all leading metro areas suffered year-over-year declines in their index despite a slowing national home construction environment, says Scott. Austin with a 7.4% rise and Atlanta with a 6.5% increase performed strongly.

Las Vegas continued its “phenomenal run” and cemented its first-place ranking by posting 19.71 permits per 1,000 non-farm jobs. Still, the Vegas performance was off by 13.9% from the initial six-month period a year ago.

The University of Central Florida index tracks 60 metropolitan statistical areas having non-farm payroll work forces of at least 500,000 jobs.

The top 20 rankings based on permits pulled per 1,000 non-agriculture jobs in the first half are:Las Vegas, 19.71; Charlotte-Gastonia, NC-Rock Hill, NC, 16.52; Phoenix-Mesa, 15.42; Atlanta, 15.33; Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC, 15.04; Austin, TX-San Marcos, 13.76; Orlando, 13.56; Riverside, CA-San Bernardino, CA, 10.83; Denver, 10.44; Jacksonville, FL, 10.21.

Also: Sacramento, CA, 9.91; Fort Worth, TX-Arlington, TX, 8.97; Nashville, TN, 8.86; Indianapolis, IN, 8.85; Memphis, TN, 8.78; Columbus, OH, 8.33; Dallas, 7.82; Tampa, FL-St. Petersburg, FL, 7.72; San Diego, CA, 7.65; and Fort Lauderdale, FL-Hollywood, FL, 7.52.

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