Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - New home construction activity in Rochester is off to the slowest start in three years.

The City Building Safety Department approved 20 permits for new single-family homes last month. While that was the highest total for February in 5 years, it only pushed the total for the first two months of this year to 35. That’s down 5 when compared to last year, and the total for January and February in 2014 was close to 50.

Home construction activity is traditionally fairly slow during the first several months of each year, while May through September is the busiest period.

Overall, the city approved 151 building permits valued at $24.2 million in February. Last year, the valuation total for February was over double that at about $58 million thanks to some large multi-family housing projects involving over 200 apartment units.

The largest permit approved last month was for the new Minnesota Teen Challenge treatment center for women that was valued at about $3.2 million

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