Region’s Home Builders Make Up for Lost Time in Winter, Early Spring

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tJuly marked the fourth consecutive month that building permits for new, single-family homes in metro Detroit exceeded the 400 threshold, and the upswing should continue for the next six months, say officials of the Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan.

tAccording to the HBA’s most recent building activity report, nearly 470 permits were issued in Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne counties last month, up 6 percent over the same time the year before, and the highest count for the month of July since 2006, when 719 permits were issued.

t“We started off slower this year than we did last year primarily because of the exceptionally hard winter,” says Michael Stoskopf, CEO of the Home Builders Association. “But from April to July this year, the numbers are actually higher than the April to July numbers last year. So, in four months, we’ve made up about 90 percent of what we lost in five months (November to March).”

tStoskopf attributes the recent increase in permits, which he predicts will continue through early fall, to pent-up demand. “I won’t say we’re running hot, but we are running ahead of what we forecast, and that’s because while we lost productivity — you couldn’t dig a hole (this spring) because the frost went six feet into the ground — we didn’t lose demand.”

tLooking ahead, the organization projects that nearly 2,300 permits will be issued from August to January, up 7 percent from the same time period the year before.

tThat said, recent reports from the Farmer’s Almanac predict this winter will be colder and snowier than normal, with the lowest temperatures and snowiest periods kicking off in December and continuing through early February.

t“We’ll see what happens, and we’ll adapt as well go,” Stoskopf says. “Hopefully, we still have a least three months of good weather to go, the snow doesn’t have to hurry here.”

tIN OTHER HOUSING NEWS, the 2014 Ultimate Homearama luxury home tour will be open daily from Friday through Sept. 14 at The Pinnacle at Oaklands in Oakland Township, hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. M-S and noon to 9 p.m. on Sundays.

t“The folks coming (to the showcase) may not be in the market for a $2.8 to $3.5 million home, but they are going to be able to see different design ideas, architectural trends, and cool gizmos and gadgets they can put in their own homes,” Stoskopf says. “And then when they go to our home show in October, they can hire a contractor to bring them some of that American dream home.”

tFor more information about the tour — which includes homes by Arteva Homes, Cranbrook Homes, MJC Cos., and Moceris Cos. — visit HomearamaHBA.com. For times and tickets, access the “Buy Tickets” selection.

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