Single family home permits up 26 percent in Indianapolis area

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The greater Indianapolis nine-county region has seen a 26-percent increase in the number of permits issued for single family homes through June 2013 compared to last year. Local builders claim there is renewed interest in new construction especially in the starter homes market.

“I know pretty much all of my neighbors around me,” said Brownsburg homeowner Matt Witsken, who moved into his home a year ago. He said since then he has seen a dozen homes go up around him even in the first few months.

“Because the market has been good, we are now selling houses for January 2014, so we have our pipeline full for this year,” said Steve Hatchel with Arbor Homes. The company is responsible for 35 developments in Central Indiana. “It feels like the market is finally picking up again. Customers are excited to get started.”

Steve Lains, CEO of the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis, said this trend is not only good news for interested homebuyers. He claims the local economy is also seeing a boost, and he is convinced it will continue.

“Those 2,600 houses that we have built so far in 2013 have generated over $466 million in local income and $106 million in local taxes, and that has created 7,900 new jobs for our market. That is key to keeping everything moving forward,” said Lains.

Lains also said starter homes under $250,000 are proving the most popular. While Marion County has seen pockets of growth in terms of single family home construction, several more counties saw strong permit number increases. Hancock, Boone and Shelby counties topped that list.

“As the market is recovering, the materials are harder to get and more expensive to get, and the labor force is still a struggle for us to find, to keep up with the pace, we have right now,” said Lains, who is also convinced this problem will self-correct.

The June permits mark the 12th straight same-month increase from the previous year.