Local homebuilding in 2012 jumps to highest level in 6 years
Single-family home building permits issued in the Springs and El Paso County, which measure construction activity, totaled 2,218 in 2012, a 58.5 percent increase over 2011, according to a report Wednesday by the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department. Last year’s total was the highest since Regional Building issued 3,446 permits in 2006,
For the month of December, building permits totaled 152, nearly double the 80 permits issued in December 2011. Permit totals increased each month in 2012 on a year-over-year basis, and have increased in 15 of the last 16 months.
Homebuilders have credited historically low mortgage rates and a pent-up demand on the part of buyers for the recovery. Last week, mortgage rates averaged 3.35 percent nationally for a 30-year, fixed-rate loan, and rates were below 4 percent for most of 2012, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac
“We’re all pleased that it appears the market is finally turning and heading back up to what we would consider normal levels to be,” said John Bissett, founder of JM Weston Homes and board president of the Housing and Building Association of Colorado Springs.
The increase in homebuilding has been across all price levels, although lower-priced homes probably have seen more of the activity, Bissett said.
Construction in the Mountain Shadows area on the Springs’ northwest side, where nearly 350 homes were destroyed in late June by the Waldo Canyon fire, contributed only nominally to the housing rebound.
Regional Building figures show 76 single-family permits were issued for homes in Mountain Shadows since July, which represents 3.4 percent of the total in 2012.
Homebuilding is a major part of the Colorado Springs economy. The industry employs thousands of people, while Colorado Springs and other local governments rely on sales taxes collected on the purchase of building materials to help fund their budgets.
Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228 Twitter @richladen
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