Colorado Springs homebuilding rebounds in May

The pace of Colorado Springs-area home construction increased in May, reversing course from the previous month.

A report released Thursday by the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department showed:

– The department issued 344 permits to builders and individuals for the construction of single-family homes in El Paso County during May, up 3.9 percent from the same month last year. In April, building permits had declined a little more than 7 percent on a year-over-year basis.

– Through the first five months of 2017, single-family permits totaled 1,435, a 1.2 percent increase over the same period last year.

– Although year-to-date single-family permits are running only slightly ahead of last year, the number still indicates a solid year for the homebuilding industry – based on recent history. Permits issued so far in 2017 already have surpassed annual totals for the four-year period from 2008 to 2011.

In general, local homebuilding has improved in recent years because of a stronger local economy, lower unemployment and affordable long-term mortgage rates, local homebuilders and economists have said.

Thirty-year, fixed mortgage rates that have been over 4 percent for much of the time since late 2016 have fallen the past two weeks. On Thursday, long-term rates averaged 3.94 percent nationally – lowest since Nov. 17, 2016, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac.

A tight supply of homes for sale on the resale side of the housing market also has led many buyers to purchase new homes, builders and economists have said. Meanwhile, Denver-area residents looking for cheaper housing have bought homes in northern portions of Colorado Springs and El Paso County.

Home construction is a closely watched part of the local economy.

The industry employs thousands of people who work in the trades; at the same time, sales taxes collected on the purchase of building materials helps pumps millions into the coffers of local governments that use the money to help fund basic services.

Source:  Gazette

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