Rochester, MN (KROC AM News ) - Rochester home builders had their best first quarter in almost a decade.

The City Building Safety Department approved 31 permits for new single-family homes last month, which was the highest total for the month of March since 2012. The total for the first three months of the year was 71, which is the highest that figure has been since 2007. That was also the last year the total number of permits for new single-family homes in Rochester exceeded 400.

Overall, it was a rather slow month for building activity in Rochester. The city issued a total of 193 building permits valued at a little under $14.3 million dollars last month, and close to half of the valuation total was tied to new home and townhome projects. Unlike the past couple months when big multi-family projects dominated the building activity reports, the largest permit for that category was for the footings and foundation of the Lofts at Mayo Park development at about $750,000.

The largest commercial construction permit issued last month involved a project at the Hilton Garden Inn along South Broadway in downtown Rochester that was valued at $1.75 million.