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SIOUX CITY | More homes and apartments went up in Sioux City during 2016 than any year prior, setting a record for residential housing growth for the second year in a row. 

Sioux City's Planning and Zoning Department issued building permits for 241 housing units in 2016, up nearly 20 percent from the 205 issued in 2015, the previous record.

"We've had a housing shortage for quite a while, and we're finally starting to see that alleviated," said Chris Madsen, a senior planner for Sioux City. "I think a lot of it is the commercial and industrial development that's growing the region and the town that's required a lot more housing."

Other Siouxland metro cities also reported higher-than-average sales.

In South Sioux City, senior code official Kent Zimmerman said residential housing turned in 20 new units during the 2016 fiscal yearits highest number since 2013, when it added 23.

In Sergeant Bluff, city administrator Aaron Lincoln said 32 permits were issued for single-family housing units, with 61 issued for multi-family units. 

North Sioux City saw the construction of six twin homes, or two-sided homes, as well as 19 new residential homes and a seven-unit building. City administrator Ted Cherry said the total of 38 units is above previous years.

"I think the tax structure here in South Dakota is helping drive some homeowners north here," Cherry said. "I think we’re probably one of the next suburbs to increase in growth."

In Dakota Dunes, permits were issued for 26 residential units. Residential manager Tim Swanson said overall growth in the Dunes is coming on both the residential and commercial sides.

"It’s the most commercial activity that we’ve had going on at one time since probably the very early days of the history of Dakota Dunes," Swanson said. 

Swanson said the Dunes also saw an increase in the number of homes sold: 131, the highest in one period of time since 1998.

In Sioux City, the last five years have seen a dramatic uptick in the rate of building permits issued following a decade of slow growth. According to city data, an average of 63 building permits for residential housing were issued between 2002 and 2011. Over the past five years, that average has increased to 159, driven by two consecutive years above 200. 

Fifty percent of the new 2016 housing units, or 150 of them, were apartments. Ninety-four were single-family residences and 27 were condos. 

Madsen said Sioux City is poised to continue its growth, pointing to a proposal to renovate the former Bekins building at the corner of Wesley Parkway and West Fourth Street into a 70- to 75-unit apartment complex and future residential construction in the Whispering Creek and Eagle Ridge developments.

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City hall reporter

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