In terms of construction value, last year was record-breaking with Dilworth, Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo collectively bringing in nearly $1.4 billion through 4,436 building permits. The number of permits issued last year is the highest since 2008. Total permits and values include housing, multi-family, new commercial, residential and commercial remodeling, public and miscellaneous categories.
Compared to 2013, total construction value more than doubled, total permits increased 8 percent and housing permits increased 2 percent. Compared to the 20-year average, total value more than tripled, total permits were up 12 percent and housing starts were up 33 percent.Housing starts for all communities combined hit 1,178, accounted for 27 percent of total permits issued, and reached their highest level since 2005.
HBA of F-M President Clay Dietrich, Dietrich Homes, Inc., says, “It’s an understatement to say our area’s construction sector is busy. With our community as a whole seeing increases last year in all categories, and more people moving here, it’s more important than ever to secure permanent flood protection.”
Dilworth, Moorhead and West Fargo surpassed last year’s total number of permits issued: Fargo was short of reaching last year’s number by just one permit, but had the largest increase in percentage of dollar volume. Moorhead saw the biggest jump in the total number of building permits with a 23-percent increase over last year. West Fargo was close behind with a 17-percent increase.
For housing starts, Moorhead had a strong year with 209 permits, a 57-percent increase over last year. However, it experienced decreases in its multi-family and commercial permits. Fargo saw a 28-percent decrease in housing starts, but experienced a 52-percent increase in multi-family activity and a 20-percent increase in commercial construction. West Fargo had an 83-percent increase in commercial permits, with strong increases in housing and multi-family permits, too. Dilworth’s housing-permit activity increased by 44 percent.
West Fargo was the leader in residential remodeling permits with a 17-percent increase; Moorhead followed with a 10-percent jump. Fargo experienced a slight decrease, and Dilworth’s decreased by 27 percent.
Dietrich points out that the reduction in Fargo’s home-building and remodeling activity last year may be the result of buyers choosing one of the other three communities who have more robust flood control in place and that will not see the major flood insurance cost impacts that Fargo will.
“Each of our communities rely on one another. Many people who work in Fargo, live in Moorhead, West Fargo and Dilworth, and vice versa. The Diversion doesn’t only protect Fargo, it ensures economic vitality for our entire metro area and everyone who lives and works here,” he says.
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 and Red River Valley Home & Garden Show.