Local News

Study: More homes being built in the Triangle

Posted May 17, 2010 4:48 p.m. EDT
Updated May 18, 2010 8:21 a.m. EDT

— New housing numbers show that 74 percent more homes were built in the Triangle in the first quarter of this year versus last, according to Metro Study.

Last year, 900 new homes were constructed the first quarter of the year compared with 1,567 this year. Building industry experts say the recent home buyers’ credit had a lot to do with the jump.

Metro Study surveys the housing market in seven Triangle counties – Wake, Durham, Orange, Chatham, Franklin, Granville and Vance.

The company tracks how many homes are actually being built. Home building permit numbers aren’t always an accurate representation of what is going on in the market place, because sometimes builders will sit on the permits for six months, researchers said.

“Percentage-wise it was a big jump, but we were so far down in the bottom that numerically it doesn’t put us anywhere near where we were in 2005 and 2006,” said Metro Study’s Ed Dunnavant.

While the number of homes being built has increased, the size of the homes has not. Tim Minton, with the Wake County Home Builders Association, says homes are smaller. They are being built on smaller lots and more town homes are popping up.

He says it’s a reflection of what is going on in the economy and the building industry. People are being forced to put down more money as a down payment, so they can’t afford as much home as they used to.

The price value of permits in Wake County dropped from $220,000 last year to $178,000 this year. The price value represents how much it costs for a builder to build the home.

“They are looking for shelter versus an investment, so they are buying the home for the lifestyle and what’s in it (as) opposed to showing off (for) the neighbors,” Dunnavant said.

Jeff Connor is counting down the days until he can move into his new home. He says the economy had a lot to do with his decision to buy new.

“I think the pricing is right now. I think the builders are motivated to move the houses,” he said.

Connor admits his new home is not as lavish as one he would have chosen a few years back, but he still thinks it's a great investment.