Construction is underway on a home in the Indigo Ranch development on Colorado SpringsÂ’ northeast side. The pace of homebuilding in February jumped by a little more than one-third from the same time last year, according to a new Pikes Peak Regional Building Department report. RICH LADEN, THE GAZETTE

FILE - Construction is underway on a home in the Indigo Ranch development on Colorado Springs’ northeast side. RICH LADEN, THE GAZETTE

The pace of Colorado Springs-area homebuilding increased again in September, according to a report released Monday by the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department.

As a result, the local homebuilding industry remains on pace to finish the year with its best performance in a decade.

That's important for a couple of reasons.

The homebuilding industry employs thousands of people and is a big part of the local economy. As more people work in construction, they use their paychecks to shop, eat out, buys cars and the like - helping to pump life into the economy.

At the same time, Colorado Springs and other local governments collect sales taxes on the purchase of building materials. That money then goes to help pay for police, fire, parks and other basic government services.

The latest Pikes Peak Regional Building Department report showed:

- Single-family home building permits that were issued to builders and individuals in the Springs and El Paso County totaled 250 in September, a 7.3 percent increase over the same month a year ago. The pace of homebuilding has risen in eight out of the last nine months on a year-over-year basis.

- Through the first nine months of 2016, building permits totaled 2,595 in El Paso County or 21.5 percent higher than the same period in 2015.

- If the pace of local homebuilding continues during the final quarter of 2016, single-family building permits should exceed 3,000 for the year. It would be the first time that single-family permits will have topped that mark since 2006.

Among factors that have driven the new home market: historically low mortgage rates, a stronger economy, improved consumer confidence and an influx of Denver-area and Douglas County residents who are buying homes in the Springs and El Paso County because they can get more for their money, builders have said.

Also, the supply of homes for sale on the resale side of Colorado Springs' housing market has plunged over the last several months, and some buyers who can't find existing homes are opting to purchase new ones instead.

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Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228

Twitter: @richladen

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