Up-and-down year continues for home builders

It’s been a volatile year so far for local home builders, with hopeful months followed by disappointing ones.

Builders filed 492 single-family permits in the nine-county metropolitan area in April, the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis said Friday. That's a 10-percent decrease from April 2014.

Home building had showed signs of thawing in March with year-over-year permit filings rising 8 percent after a frigid February that saw a 13-percent decline in filings. Permits were up 6 percent in January.

Overall, year-to-date, 1,612 permits have been filed in 2015. That’s down 3 percent from the first four months of 2014.

“As the housing market recovers, we will most likely see annual permit numbers remain steady with slight month-to-month increases and decreases as lot availability remains a challenge for the industry,” BAGI CEO Steve Lains said Friday in a written statement.

April filings were up 15 percent in Marion County, from 61 to 70, but drooped 9 percent in usual new-home hotbed Hamilton County, from 214 to 194.

Hendricks County saw a 20-percent decrease in permits, from 71 to 57. Filings dropped 47 percent in Boone County, from 60 to 32.

Permits were flat in Johnson County, at 52. Filings fell from 38 to 30 in Hancock County.

Fewer than 15 permits each were filed in Shelby, Madison and Morgan counties.  

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