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Permits rise in March, but homebuilding still slow
Catherine Reagor, The Republic | azcentral.com
Last month, 996 permits for new single-family Valley houses were issued, 98 more than in February, according to the latest issue of RL Brown Reports. In March 2013, builders took out 1,258 new-home permits in the Phoenix area.
New-home sales also climbed to 856 in March from 724 in February. The median price of a new house climbed as well, to $291,205 from $287,504.
“Housing market growth will gain steam as jobs are created in the region,” housing analysts RL Brown and Greg Burger said in their monthly report.
Last spring, it appeared metro Phoenix’s home building market was headed for a recovery as more home buyers opted for new houses, particularly in the Southeast Valley. But by summer, the surge in building had stalled because of higher prices, fewer affordable lots in popular locations and a shortage of skilled labor for contractors.
Both new-home sales and resales in the region fell during the first two months of this year.
Brown and Burger say it will be awhile for the Valley’s home building market returns to even the pre-boom pace of 30,000 to 40,000 new-home permits a year.
“Builder confidence is up, but so is builder awareness and a more conservative outlook than we observed in this marketplace just a year ago,” Brown and Burger said.