Local News

New home permits begin to rebuild in Wake

Posted April 22, 2009 6:27 p.m. EDT

— After months of decline, permits for home construction in Wake County have risen for the first three months of the year, according to county records.

Last July, 660 new-home permits were issued across Wake County, but that number dropped to 147 by November as the sub-prime mortgage market collapsed and the nationwide credit crunch froze most lending.

In January, 212 permits were issued, according to the Wake County Revenue Department, and the figure grew to 227 in February and 254 in March.

"We do feel like we've hit bottom and things are looking up," said Rex Bost of Bost Custom Homes. "Confidence is up just a little bit. (We've had) the election of a new president – just the fact that we got that behind us – and interest rates (are) at an all-time low. Plus, there have been good deals out there."

Other developers said the relatively small numbers of permits being issued in the county show that a full recovery remains months off.

Jeremy Salemson, chief executive of Corporate Investors Mortgage Group, said the turnaround is significant because it could signal the end of the housing market's slide.

"Specifically here in the Triangle, I think we're starting to turn the corner when it comes to housing permits," Salemson said. "Given the diverse business climate we have here in the Triangle and the strength in numbers in terms of the university system and ... the intellectual capital here, because of those strong qualities, we'll be on the forefront of the turnaround in the economy, as well as housing."