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The best December for housing permits since the real estate market was near its peak capped a year that saw activity statewide spike, though building approvals in 2012 still fell far short of heady times.
The 524 housing permits granted statewide last month more than doubled the 253 approved in the previous year, according to numbers released Tuesday by the state Department of Economic and Community Development based on U.S. Census figures. It was the best December for housing approvals since 2006, when 604 building permits were issued.
The December spike in planned building helped lift annual permits in Connecticut to a level not seen since 2008. But the 4,140 housing permits issued last year, though up nearly 46 percent from the year before, still paled in comparison to numbers seen during the real estate boom years.
From 2004 to 2006, Connecticut averaged well over 9,000 permits a year. December was the second largest month of the year in terms of the number of building permits issued in Connecticut during 2012. Only October, with 529 permits issued, had higher numbers.
Locally, towns with the largest number of permits were East Lyme, 39; New London, 32; Stonington, 27; Ledyard, 24; Old Saybrook, 17; Groton, 14; Waterford, 12, and Montville, 10.