There were just 2,672 permits issued in the four metropolitan areas in the Business Journal's coverage area, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's building permit survey.
Last year was the first time Central Pennsylvania failed to crack 3,000 residential permits, according to historical survey data, which goes back to 1995.
In 2011, there were 3,130 permits in Harrisburg-Carlisle, Lancaster County, Lebanon County and York-Hanover, according to the survey.
By comparison, Pennsylvania saw residential permits increase by 31.4 percent to 19,663 in 2012. That was comparable to 2010 when the commonwealth saw 19,740 permits.
The valuation of residential permits in Central Pennsylvania was $405.62 million in 2012, which was down from $493.34 million in 2011, according to the survey.
Here is a breakdown, by metro area, for the last five years: