Crunching the numbers: Hamilton County homebuilding activity leads region

June 11, 2013
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Single-family building permits in Hamilton County are up 24 percent this year compared to the first five months of 2012, despite a slight drop in May.

Homebuilders filed 188 permits here in May, down 3 percent from the same period last year, according to data released Tuesday by the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis.

Even so, the fast-growing county to Indianapolis' north had more than twice as much housing construction as western suburb Hendricks County, where 90 permits represented a 43-percent increase.

All told, single-family building permits rose 23 percent in the nine-county Indianapolis area in May, BAGI said. It was the 11th straight month of year-over-year increases.

Noblesville led Hamilton County permit filings in May, with 61. Fishers was next with 53, followed by Carmel with 40. Westfield had 26 permits filed.

Year-to-date filings in Hamilton County totaled 817, up from 659 last year.

Down the road in Boone County, single-family permits are up 34 percent for the year, to 214. Whitestown had the most filings in May, with 25. Zionsville was next with 19.

What do you make of the numbers? Any guesses on how long the growth spurt can last?

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  • It's the schools
    Quality of life, namely the schools in places such as Brownsburg, is the reason for Hendricks County's growth. Everyone except for the Brownsburg Town Council and its equally inept Redevlopment Commission knows and understands this fact.
  • Pent Up Demand + More
    I think there are two dynamics at work in Carmel. The first is that after a dip in housing prices and a shaky economy since '08 things are on enough of an upswing that there is a certain amount of pent-up demand. That said, I doubt many builders feel confident enough to build spec homes at Carmel prices....yet. So, if these homes being built are already spoken for then people have gotten bank-approved or other financing already lined up. In other words, they must have solid jobs. In the last year or two, Carmel has scored some major jobs announcements so besides the pent up demand, I think you're seeing new home permitting increase because people are moving here to be closer to their jobs.

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  1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

  2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

  3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

  4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

  5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.

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