First-quarter Housing Building Permit Numbers On Pace With 2013

The HBA of F-M’s building permit report reflecting first-quarter construction activity in Dilworth, Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo shows that housing construction projects are off to a strong start, on pace with reports from 2013. Compared to an extremely strong start two years ago, 2014’s report paints an average beginning to the year because of a harsh winter and late spring. With weather warming up, builders remain optimistic. The permit report categories include housing starts, multi-family, new commercial, residential remodeling, commercial remodeling, public and miscellaneous permits.

HBA of F-M President Carlita Dietz, Jay Dietz Construction, Inc., discusses the 2014 F-M metro area first-quarter building permit report at a press conference April 23.

HBA President Carlita Dietz, Jay Dietz Construction, Inc., says, “The winter weather was never-ending, leading to a deep freeze and a delay in new construction. We were extremely fortunate to avoid a flood event this year which has builders in high spirits and hopefully will lead to higher second quarter numbers as well.”

This year, housing starts (single-family homes, row houses, twin homes and duplexes) showed a slight bump from last year, increasing from 55 to 56. Total valuation increased from about $12.8 million to $13.5 million, or about 5 percent. Single-family permits for the F-M metro area fell about 31 percent, from 55 to 38; however, twin home construction and row house permits rose significantly, totaling 18 units compared to none at this time last year.

Moorhead’s total housing starts increased to eight single-family permits compared to just one in first quarter 2013. West Fargo’s total decreased from 32 housing starts in 2013 to 21 this year. Last year’s starts in West Fargo were all single family, while this year shows a mix of single family (15 units) and twin homes (six units).

Fargo’s housing starts increased 23 percent from 22 to 27 and is a mix of single family (15 units) and row houses (12 units). Dilworth hasn’t had any housing construction activity, which is typical for first quarter.

Overall, building permits encompassing housing, multi-family, commercial, remodeling and public projects, permit totals are up 11 percent and total valuation is up 67 percent.

“As the weather is warming up, so is the building industry,” Dietz says. “For all builders, the jobs are there for another successful year, it’s just a matter of the weather cooperating so we can get started.”

Watch a seven-minute video of the press conference here.

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 kicks off its 54th Annual Spring Parade of Homes tomorrow showcasing 70 homes by 35 Builder members. The event runs April 24-27 and May 1-4. Hours are 4 – 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday and noon – 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. General admission is free. Cost is $5 to tour four luxurious featured homes with proceeds donated to Home Builders Care of F-M Foundation. Event magazines are available at all Hornbacher’s and online at

The HBA of F-M promotes an environment in which members and their businesses can prosper. It is a non-profit trade association of over 800 members that has been in existence since 1956. 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.