Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

Record number of home permits issued in 2018

Posted: Friday, March 1, 2019

Source: City of Huntington

The entry of a national homebuilding company onto the Huntington construction scene helped drive a dramatic spike in the number of housing starts in the City of Huntington during 2018.

“The 47 home construction permits issued by the City in 2018 was a new record,” says Bryn Keplinger, director of the Huntington Community Development and Redevelopment Department.

“Creating more housing in the city is a good thing,” Keplinger says. Record low unemployment and a large number of jobs that need filled are drawing new residents to the area, and a ready supply of available homes will help bring those people to Huntington instead of elsewhere in the region.

“It’s a sign of the economy,” Keplinger says. “All over northeast Indiana, there is a housing shortage. Homes are selling in days, weeks and even hours.”

The city’s population of 17,391 is currently served by 5,377 single family dwellings within city limits. Of those, 1,213, or 22.5 percent, are rentals.

New home construction in 2018 was up 124 percent from 2017, when only 21 home construction permits were issued. The 2017 numbers were relatively unchanged from previous years, with 20 permits issued in 2016, 27 in 2015, and 21 in 2014.

“Housing starts haven’t approached the 2018 number since the housing boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s,” Keplinger says.

Seventy percent of the new homes permitted in 2018 are south of the Little River. Most are located in subdivisions, with the bulk of the new homes going up in Salamonie Glen off of Salamonie Avenue, where North Carolina-based Wade Jurney Homes is building 26 homes ranging in size from 1,200 to 2,000 square feet.

“There are no new construction homes on the market in that (size) range,” Keplinger says. He expects those homes to sell quickly to first-time buyers and to empty nesters. As empty nesters downsize, the larger homes they previously owned open up for families moving into the city. “It’s really going to give the housing market a good shot in the arm.”

More new homes were started in Crown Hill Farm, Indian Ridge on the Wabash, Carlisle Crossing and Stoney Brook Heights.

“In addition, some homes are being built on empty lots in existing neighborhoods. Filling in those empty lots,” Keplinger says, “builds up those neighborhoods and improves quality of life.”

Construction costs of the 47 new homes permitted in 2018 total $6.3 million, up about 30 percent from 2017. The average value of each individual home started in 2018 is $134,263, down slightly from the previous year.

When residential construction is combined with the commercial and industrial building projects started within the city limits during 2018, the total investment comes to about $17.4 million, up 7.3 percent from the previous year.

Major non-residential projects started during 2018 include a $5.5 million buildout of the downtown UB Block as well as construction of retail space along Hauenstein Road, and a remodel of the Huntington City-Township Public Library, each costing about $1.2 million.