Indianapolis-area home builders seeing late-year surge in demand

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After a slow start to 2019, Indianapolis-area home builders are seeing a late-year surge in demand for new houses.

Applications for home construction rose 13% in central Indiana in September—the third month in a row of year-over-year increases in permit filings following seven straight months of declines.

Builders filed 565 single-family construction permits in the nine-county area last month, compared with 501 permits in September 2018, according to the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis.

On a year-to-date basis, permit filings are now down only 3%, to 5,413, compared with 5,572 during the first nine month of 2018.

“We are pleased to see the permits correction continue in our market,” Steve Lains, CEO of BAGI, in written remarks. “That being said, there is room for improvement in order to be able to close in on our market’s unmet demand.”

Lains said the market could be doing even better if it was easier to build more affordable housing, but “land, labor and building material prices continue to increase, making it much harder to build affordably in order to meet the market’s demand.”

County numbers

Hamilton County saw permit filings increase a whopping 25% in September, from 166 to 207. Filings are still down 11 percent in the county year-to-date but have risen the past three months.

Marion County filings jumped 43 percent last month, to 106, and are now up 3 percent this year.

Hendricks County’s numbers were up 17%, to 69.

Johnson County saw a 20 percent drop in filings, to 53.

Hancock County saw permits rise 12%, to 46.

Filings dropped 22% in Boone County, to 32.

Morgan County saw an 83 percent increase in filings, to 22. Filings fell from 34 to 22 in Madison County. They held steady at eight in Shelby County.

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