Area homebuilders optimistic after late-year surge in permit filings

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If the last half of 2023 is any indication, this year should be a solid one for homebuilders in central Indiana.

After a dismal first half, applications for new home construction surged during the last six months of the year in the nine-county area, according to the latest statistics from the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis.

Area builders filed 524 single-family building permits in December, up 36% from the same month of 2022—the sixth straight month of rising permit filings.

For the full year, the area saw a total of 7,944 permit filings in 2023, down less than 1% than the total of 7,992 filed the previous year. The year-end results marked a big comeback for the market, which was facing a 29% year-over-year decline in filings at the end of May.

“Our optimistic predictions from early and mid-2023 were accurate. We finished 2023 essentially equal to 2022,” said BAGI CEO Steve Lains in written remarks. “We know that permit data acts as a lagging indicator, reflecting market conditions from four to six months prior, so permit numbers for the end of last year reflect an increase in demand during the beginning of the year that we anticipate will carry over into 2024. Based on the growth patterns we saw towards the end of the year, BAGI is optimistic about the forecast for 2024 and confident in our members’ ability to weather volatile market conditions.”

Year-over-year growth in annual filings was seen in Marion, Hamilton, Boone, Hendricks and Morgan counties. Here’s a look at the year-over-year permit numbers for both December and the total year:

December single-family building permits filings by county

Hamilton: 131 (+13%)

Boone: 122 (+42%)

Marion: 83 (+1%)

Johnson: 65 (+442%)

Hancock: 60 (+100%)

Hendricks: 22 (-48%)

Morgan 20 (+100%)

Madison: 18 (+260%)

Shelby: 3 (+50%)

2023 single-family building permits filings by county

Hamilton: 2,719 (+14%)

Marion: 1,414 (+10%)

Hendricks: 982 (+2%)

Boone: 857 (+17%)

Johnson: 596 (-23%)

Hancock: 546 (-42%)

Madison: 463 (-11%)

Morgan 294 (+2%)

Shelby: 73 (-42%)

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