Home-A-Rama is returning after a five-year hiatus.
The Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis stopped hosting the annual show in 2008, as demand for new homes dropped dramatically during the housing bust.
With the market improving, BAGI decided the time was right to reintroduce the show, which gives the public an opportunity to tour newly built custom residences. This year’s event starts Thursday and features four homes in the Village of West Clay in Carmel.
“Home-A-Rama had been an annual event since 1971, so it was a big deal for us to not have it the past five years because of the market,” BAGI spokeswoman Carrie Cason said.
The amount of new residential construction this year in the nine-county area points to a housing recovery. Through the first eight months of the year, the number of single-family building permits filed—3,566—is up 25 percent from the same time last year.
The activity still pales in comparison to the number of new homes built before the market collapsed. In 2005, at the height of the housing boom, the number of building permits filed in the metro area topped 13,200.
It’s doubtful building activity will reach those heights anytime soon. But Joe Gradison, co-owner of Indianapolis-based Gradison Design Build, one of the four builders participating in Home-A-Rama, said he's pleased by the show’s return.
“The market is much stronger than it had been,” he said “There’s a lack of inventory in the marketplace, especially for homes recently constructed.”
Other builders in the show are Brookshire Homes Inc., DB Klain Construction LLC and Wedgewood Building Co.
Each agreed to build a home in West Clay on a speculative basis in exchange for the community’s developer, Brenwick Development Co. Inc., giving them exclusive rights to build on the 30 remaining lots in the Frogmore section of West Clay.
Homes in Frogmore range in price from $600,000 to $900,000.
Brenwick President George Sweet’s hope that the spec homes would jumpstart interest in Frogmore seems to be off to a positive start. Each home that will be showcased in Home-A-Rama already has been sold.
“We’ve been seeing the trend for a while now,” said David Klain, owner of DB Klain Construction in Carmel. “There’s definitely been an influx of buyers because of the lack of supply.”
Home-A-Rama runs Thursdays through Sundays the rest of October. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the gate.