The Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis says single-family building permits increased by 18 percent in March. Chief Executive Officer Steve Lains says the number of permits issued in the first quarter of 2018 has surpassed expectations.
The organization says 723 permits were issued in the nine-county region last month, up from 614 during the same month in 2017. Six of the nine counties saw increases in permits in March with Shelby and Marion counties leading the way at 67 percent and 44 percent, respectively.
To date, the number of permits throughout the region has increased 30 percent over the same period last year.
"As the market demand continues to surpass the existing inventory of finished and for sale new homes, the surge in new home starts is likely due to the anticipation of what are historically considered the strongest selling seasons of spring and summer," said Lains. "Although this 1st quarter increase was higher than predicted, we are not yet changing our forecasted cumulative growth of 5-10% for the year. The consensus is that the surge in permits early in the year will be offset by a normalization of volume as the year progresses, like the pattern we saw in 2017."
Lains says factors such as lack of available labor, material price increases and land available to rezone at price points below $250,000 are expected to limit the ability to sustain the increase in permits throughout the year.