Homebuilders still seeing high demand despite pandemic

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Area builders continued to see strong interest in new homes in July despite the pandemic.

Permit filings jumped 12% last month, marking the 11th time in the last 13 months that filings have risen on a year-over-year basis.

Builders filed 775 permits in the nine-county Indianapolis area in July, compared with 695 permits in June 2019, according to a monthly report released Thursday by the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis.

Single-family building permit filings are up 12% so far this year compared with the first seven months of 2019.

July’s increase followed a 20% year-over-year jump in June, a 12% decline in May, a 5% increase in April, a 20% rise in March, a 34% escalation in February and an 18% jump in January.

“The strong demand for new homes that began in May shows no signs of deceasing at this point,” said Todd Pyatt, president of Pyatt Builders and BAGI president. “With that demand remaining incredibly high, builders and their trade partners are reaching their capacity to meet existing sales commitments and many builders now are selling homes that will not be started until spring or summer of 2021.”

Pyatt said increased demand and material and labor shortages caused by the pandemic are “putting upward pressure on pricing and lot availability in almost all segments of the market.”

July’s solid numbers got a boost from bursts of business in Hendricks, Boone, Johnson and Madison counties. Typical home-construction hotbeds Hamilton and Marion Counties both saw declines in filings.

County numbers

Marion County permit filings fell 17% in July on a year-over-year basis, from 130 to 108.

Hamilton County saw 220 filings last month, down 4% from 228.

Hendricks County’s numbers were up 35%, from 89 to 120.

Johnson County saw a 27% increase last month, to 100.

Hancock County saw permits fall 40%, to 42.

Filings jumped 130% in Boone County last month, to 85.

Filings stayed flat, at 35, in Morgan County.

Madison County filings increased from 23 to 57.

Filings ticked up from four to eight in Shelby County.

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