HOUSTON (Houston Chronicle) – The number of building permits issued by the city is approaching the area’s prerecession high.

According to the city’s Department of Public Works & Engineering, Planning and Development Services, $5.7 billion in permits have been issued over the past 12 months. That’s a 22.9 percent increase over the $4.6 billion issued during the previous 12 months. Last month alone saw a 23 percent increase.

Residential permits grew by 32.3 percent, while nonresidential permits were up 17.9 percent, according to the Greater Houston Partnership.

The peak amount of overall permit activity was $6 billion. That was for the 12 months ending in October 2008. Values were at their lowest in September 2010 at $3.1 billion.