Area homebuilding interest shows March thaw

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The pace of new-home buying showed signs of thawing last month after a frigid February, the Builders Association of Indianapolis reported Thursday.

Builders filed 492 single-family permits in the nine-county metropolitan area in March, BAGI said. That's a 7-percent increase from the same month last year.

Marion County saw 93 filings in March, a 24-percent increase from 2014.

Housing hotbed Hamilton County led the area in filings, with 179 last month, to post a 3-percent increase compared with March 2014

Filings rose 15 percent in Hendricks County, to 77, but fell 35 percent in Johnson County, to 40.

Filings rose 71 percent in Boone County, from 31 to 53.

Hancock County saw a 17-percent increase in permits, to 35.

Morgan County had seven filings, Madison five, and Shelby three.

The 7-percent increase in building permits represented a rebound from February, when permits fell 13 percent. Through the first three months of the year, filings in the nine-county area (1,138) are basically flat compared with the first quarter of 2014 (1,139).

March’s stronger local numbers also buck the national trend of decreasing activity. Building permits across the country slid 2.9 percent from February, to an annual rate of 1.04 million, the Commerce Department said.

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