One measure of economic health for lake-area communities is the number and total value of construction permits. While that data isn't the only indicator cities consider, officials watch for trends and then analyze the information.
The city of Osage Beach continues to be a hotbed of construction activity based on 2017 information.
The number of residential and commercial building permits jumped to 160 for the city last year, reflecting an estimated construction value of $28,240,032. While there have been years with more permits issued, 2017 had the highest permit construction value since 2013 when value was estimated at $33,884,622.
In 2016, Osage Beach reported 136 permits and $11,636,686 in construction value. In 2015, there were 129 permits with a total construction value of $12,711,897.
The average value permit in 2017 was $176,500; the average in 2016 was $95,563; and in 2015 was $98,541.
Major construction last year included a commercial remodel at Parkview Bay Condominiums totaling $500,000, an addition at Miner Mike's totaling $500,000, a residential remodel at 872 Riggs Lane totaling $50,000 and a commercial remodel at 1056 Mace Road totaling $50,000.
"The recent increase in local building permits and overall permit valuation is a strong economic indicator for the city of Osage Beach and, overall, the Lake area," building official Ron White offered. "Although I certainly cannot predict the future, I view this recent growth in private investment as an optimistic trend by which I am gauging the foreseeable future. I don’t believe there has been a better time to live, work or visit our city. And the best news -- I believe there’s much more to come."

Lake Ozark
Lake Ozark saw a significant increase in building permit numbers from 2016 to 2017, but actual construction value fell considerably from year to year.
Residential and commercial permit numbers jumped from 66 in 2016 to 86 in 2017, but the average construction value permit fell from $204,434 in 2016 to just $82,013. Construction value in 2016 for Lake Ozark was estimated at $13,492,687 compared to $7,053.134 last year.
Most construction in 2017 was for single family residential new, remodeling or additions. Major projects were Big Thunder Marine and Voyage Marine in addition to a new cell tower.

Construction activity in Camdenton has been relatively steady the last three years, with 2017 slightly improved from 2016 in construction value but showing slightly fewer building permits.
Camdenton reported total construction value of $3,613,425 last year compared to $3,431,335 in 2016. The city recorded 42 building permits in 2017 and 49 in 2016.
Major projects last year included a large addition to Sakelaris Ford/Lincoln and an addition to Lake Park Living Residential Care Facility.