The number of residential building permits issued last month in Greater Des Moines more than doubled figures for September and represented a 77 percent increase from October 2012, according to data compiled by the Home Builders Association of Greater Des Moines.


Residential building permits lead construction starts by at least a month. The metro-area numbers outpace those for the nation, which rose to their highest level in October since June 2008, according to U.S. Commerce Department data released today, and far outpaced the Midwest, where the number of permits issued fell in October.


Nationally, permits increased 6.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1 million units. The Commerce Department said permits increased 5.2 percent in September and it revised August's numbers up to an annual pace of 926,000 units from the previously reported 918,000 units, Reuters reported.


Over the year, permits were up 13.9 percent. Locally, permits have increased nearly 19 percent over the year.


In Greater Des Moines, the surge in permits issued last month was generated by townhouses and apartment buildings, with a total of 769 permits issued for those units, compared with 239 in September. Creighton Cox, executive officer of the metro-area home builders association, noted that last month's numbers did not include data from Johnston.


A total of 4,523 residential permits had been issued through October in Greater Des Moines, compared with 3,812 over the same 10-month period last year. Permits for single-family residences increased 23 percent to 2,118 this year, townhouses increased 154 percent to 803 and multifamily units dropped 9 percent to 1,602.


Des Moines has issued the most permits this year, with 927, followed by Ankeny at 816 and West Des Moines at 810. Almost 700 of the permits issued in Des Moines were for multifamily units. Ankeny has issued the most single-family permits at 474, followed by Urbandale at 267 and West Des Moines at 195.


In Warren County, single-family permits issued in Indianola bolted nearly 300 percent to 43 from 11 and in Norwalk permits jumped 70 percent to 73 from 43.