Building Permits Jump

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The Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis reports single-family building permits in central Indiana are on the rise. The organization says 1,284 new home permits were issued year-to-date, up from 1,141 during the same period last year, which is a 13 percent increase.

The numbers are the highest first-quarter results since 2007. The number of permits issued also rose 18 percent over the previous month. The BAGI says local builders are optimistic about the growth.

"Double digit permit gains in both February and March is certainly an indicator that the Indianapolis new home market is heating up," said Jennifer Pyatt, co-owner of Pyatt Homes. "New home builders are seeing results pointing to better-than-seasonal order activity for the first time since the market downturn. With strong fundamentals in place such as low interest rates, improving mortgage availability, record low new home inventory and accelerating household formations, we are confident that we will continue to see moderate increases in permit numbers this year."

The BAGI says the construction industry is still dealing hurdles, but the numbers are moving in the right direction.

"Local builders continue to deal with labor and land shortages and regulatory constraints," said BAGI Chief Executive Officer Steve Lains. "Unlike last winter, weather has not been an issue for the builders during the first three months of this year. We will keep a close eye on the permit numbers over the next couple of months to determine if this increase is weather related or if it is truly an increase in market demand."

The March permits created more than $52 million in local taxes and generated nearly $230 million in local economic impact.

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