Second quarter home building permits exceed last year, highest since 2007

HBA President Darrick Guthmiller, Kochmann Brothers Homes, Inc., discusses the 2013 second quarter building permit report numbers at a news conference today.

The Home Builders Association of F-M’s 2013 second-quarter building permit report for the F-M metro area shows the results of an extremely busy construction industry after a long winter and cold, wet spring. Housing starts, through second quarter, are at their highest point since 2007. Watch a video of today’s news conference here.

For the most part, total permit numbers and valuations exceed 2012’s level through June. Total construction value is over $293 million, which is up over $30 million. Housing start totals are up 22 percent from 2012, which was a banner year itself, making the overall forecast for 2013 even more optimistic.

HBA President Darrick Guthmiller, Kochmann Brothers Homes, Inc., says, “It’s no surprise to see these numbers exceeding last year’s. Our first quarter report was lower than 2012, but anyone doing business in the industry here could relate that to weather and the threat of another flood. Many of us had projects just waiting to start as soon as we could get into the ground. Existing homes are moving very quickly, and it’s created an additional demand for new housing.”

Dilworth, Fargo and West Fargo each saw an increase in housing starts compared to last year. Fargo’s number increased by 52, which is up by almost 30 percent. West Fargo increased by 32. Dilworth saw the number of starts go from four to 12. While Moorhead’s starts were relatively steady, at 41, the accumulated value of those residences’ permits was 24 percent higher than the same quarter of 2012; also, new commercial starts in Moorhead went from three to 16.

Along with new housing, both total permit numbers and construction values increased for new commercial and commercial remodeling.

“The industry still faces some major hurdles in upcoming flood insurance mandates and the long wait for permanent flood protection,” Guthmiller says. “But with our strong local economy, the housing needs are prevalent and that’s a good thing because we are putting people to work and creating jobs.”

Each quarter, the HBA compiles the building permits from Dilworth, Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo into a uniform report for the industry’s and media’s use. It includes summaries for each city, types of construction, valuations and comparisons to the past four years, as well as comparisons to five-year and 20-year averages.

The HBA of F-M is a non-profit trade association of nearly 800 members that has been in existence since 1956. Its mission is to provide quality services, benefits and education to members and the community while representing the collective interests of the home building industry. Its public events include the Spring Parade of Homes, Fall Parade of Homes, Remodeled Home Tour, Red River Valley Home & Garden Show and Fall Home Show.

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