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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