INDIANAPOLIS - The Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis says single-family building permits dropped 23 percent in March. The organization says 557 permits were issued in the nine-county region last month, down from 723 during the same month last year.

Seven of the nine counties saw decreases in permits in March with Shelby and Hancock counties leading the way at 70 percent and 44 percent, respectively. Madison County saw the biggest increase in permits at 88 percent.

"March’s permit numbers are a continuation of the softening we’ve seen since the fourth quarter of 2018," Steve Lains, chief executive officer of the BAGI, said in a news release. "Although we are still consistently battling affordability issues, we will also be evaluating the impact that weather had on this month’s downturn as we move forward. With those factors in consideration, we still believe 2019 is going to be a similarly stable year to 2018."

Year-to-date, the region has seen 1,472 permits issued, compared to 1,698 during the same period in 2018.