Apr
04

Construction Permits in Columbia Drop 38%

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Columbia residential construction tumbles

April 04, 2008

By Kristy Rupon

Residential construction around the Columbia region is slowing.

Builders in a six-county area received permits to build 676 homes and apartment units in the first two months of the year, down 38 percent from a year ago, according to U.S. Census data.

“We were expecting a downturn,” said Earl McLeod, executive director of the Home Builders Association of Greater Columbia. “I don’t know if I was expecting that much.”

The value of permits issued in January and February fell 40 percent to $83.4 million, according to census data. Single-family homes permitted in the first two months slid 42 percent to 579.

The value of the homes also tumbled 42 percent to $77.5 million.

The data covers permits issued Richland, Lexington, Kershaw, Calhoun, Fairfield and Saluda counties.

McLeod said the correction is good for the market because it will allow existing inventory to thin out.

But it’s not so good for those in the building industry. McLeod said there will be some strain on suppliers and subcontractors until the demand for new housing picks up again. He expects that to happen in late summer or early fall.

“It’s part of the normal housing cycle,” he said.

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