Second-quarter Housing Starts Exceed 2013, Permit Valuations Across All Categories Up Significantly

The Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead’s 2014 second-quarter building permit report for the F-M metro area shows the results of a busy building industry. Dampened by a long, rainy spring and summer, housing starts in the F-M area are up slightly from 2013 with total valuation up nearly $9 million. Housing start totals increased by 13 permits compared to this time last year. With 500 total permits pulled through second quarter, housing, including single-family, twin homes, row houses and duplexes, is at its highest level since 2006.


Total construction value through second quarter is just shy of $630 million, which is up over $335 million; this includes housing, multi-family, new commercial, residential and commercial remodeling, public, and miscellaneous categories. Over half of that major difference ($171 million) is accounted for in Fargo’s new commercial permit category.

HBA President Carlita Dietz, Jay Dietz Construction, Inc., says, “Housing numbers are strong. This is great news considering that we’ve been dealing with challenging weather and a labor crunch this building season, both which have delayed many projects across the area.”

On the Minnesota side of the river, with 103 total housing starts, Moorhead’s numbers are the highest since 2008. There is a 150 percent increase in housing permits pulled and a 120 percent increase in total valuation. Dilworth’s housing and valuation numbers are down a bit from 2013, but are still ahead of those in 2012.

In Fargo, single-family and twin home starts are less than 2013, however, multi-family permits are up by 55 percent with a valuation increase from $22.5 to $43.8 million, or 95 percent. In West Fargo, total housing starts are up slightly, with total valuation up $4.3 million. Single-family permits are down a bit, but twin home/row house construction is up, as is multi-family and residential remodeling projects.

“The lack of permanent flood protection for the community continues to be an issue. It is on the minds of prospective home buyers/owners as well as the building and development community,” Dietz says. “With approximately 60 percent of Clay County’s eligible resident workforce employed in Cass County, permanent flood protection is necessary to protect all, whether they are businesses, employees or home owners. With the presidential authorization of Water Resources Reform & Development Act, we remain optimistic that flood protection is in the future for the F-M area.”

Each quarter, the HBA contracts with Fiebiger, Swanson, West & Co. to compile 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 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.