This may reflect what’s going on with the teardown activity in the neighborhood. The latest single-family building permit numbers for July, as reported by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M, show a steep dropoff in builder interest in Dallas County. According to the center, Dallas County builders took out permits for 495 single-family units in July. In July 2006, they took out 741 such permits. Permits have now dropped nine months in a row over the previous year.

To put things in perspective, however, the figures this year reflect the same rate of building that occurred in the mid-1990s, although they reflect a steep decline from the building frenzy of 2004, 2005 and much of 2006. And the average value of the new houses is $274,300, up from $249,500 a year ago.

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