1-12-2021 – Local housing industry flexing muscle

Posted on: January 12th, 2021 by admin

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January 12, 2021

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By Guy Lucas guylucas@newstopicnews.com

 

Despite the pandemic-related economic crisis, Caldwell County’s residential construction industry hit milestones in 2020 that it hadn’t come close to for a dozen years.

 

Both in terms of the number of permits and total construction value, it was the industry’s best year since 2007, said Deborah Murray, the executive director of the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission. Murray reviewed the permit numbers along with other 2020 data with the EDC’s board of directors on Tuesday.

 

In 2020 there was an average of 35 permits a month, the highest since 2007’s 45 a month and nearly double the low mark of 20 a month in 2012.

 

More importantly, the total value of the houses being built in 2020 surpassed 2007’s approximately $60 million.

 

“We’re going to see, I hope, a lot more of this,” she said.

 

Residential construction in the county from the 2008 onset of the Great Recession, which brought most residential construction in the county to a screeching halt, until 2020 was essentially all custom homes, but now there are two more traditional housing developments underway and another is expected to begin in 2021, Murray said.

 

And she again highlighted the renovation of historic industrial buildings near downtown Lenoir, anchored by the former Blue Bell building, into market-rate apartments. That development will be called Lenoir Mills, and the first apartments are expected to open in late September, Murray said.

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