Nov
13

High-End Home Building in Columbia on Upswing

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November 13, 2008

By Kristy Eppley Rupon – The State

Housing has taken a hit in Columbia and nationwide, but at least one segment of the market appears to be on the rise: higher-end custom homes.

Builders say their business has picked up over the last year as demand for spec homes has fallen off and lumber, labor and land prices have dropped.

“People realize they can build now at a lower cost,” said Pat Dunbar, owner of Dunbar Builders in Chapin, who said he is more aggressively pursuing half-million-dollar custom home buyers now than when the spec market was so hot a couple of years ago. Then, builders were able to build houses in new neighborhoods without a customer and without having to worry about whether they would sell.

A home at Wren Creek subdivision in Blythewood. Builders say their custom home business has picked up over the last year as demand for spec homes has fallen off and lumber, labor and land prices have dropped.

Custom homes are not tracked by the Consolidated Multiple Listing Service because they are never on the market, and building permit data does not specify whether the homes are custom.

The price of a custom home is down about $10 per square foot from two years ago, said John Zeigler, owner of Zeigler Home Builders in Northeast Richland. That’s a savings of $30,000 on a 3,000-square-foot home.

ARTICLE SHORTENED DUE TO LENGTH….

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:
http://www.thestate.com/business/story/587965.html

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