5-14-2021 – Housing market in Caldwell heats up

Posted on: May 14th, 2021 by admin

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May 12, 2021

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By Guy Lucas guylucas@newstopicnews.com

May 13, 2021

 

The residential construction market ramped up last year to a level not seen in over a dozen years, and it appears to be continuing into 2021.

 

Builders in Caldwell County applied for permits for construction valued at a total of nearly $70 million in 2020, by far the highest value since the 2008 recession, according to figures presented this week to the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission’s board of directors.

 

So far, 2021 is continuing on that pace, with permits totaling more than $20 million in the first four months of the year, noted Deborah Murray, the executive director of the EDC.

 

The high water mark for residential building permits previously was 2007, with a total value of just under $60 million.

 

“Now we’re getting back to that,” Murray said, and at the current pace 2021’s permits could top 2020’s total value.

 

After the 2008 recession, residential construction in the county plummeted, and permits hit a low of under $20 million in 2011. Since then they had gradually rebounded to more than $50 million in 2019.

 

The surge in building should help Caldwell County employers recruit people to move here for hard-to-fill jobs, Murray said. Employers have often said in recent years that they had lost some potential workers because they couldn’t find housing here that they wanted.

 

It also has implications for attracting more diverse retailers because more new housing means a larger and still growing population, which makes the area more attractive to retailers, she said.

 

The Catawba Valley Association of Realtors and Canopy MLS, which collects information on listings, contracts and sales, have been saying for months that the supply of housing in Caldwell County — as in the Hickory region overall — falls far short of the demand, which has driven sales prices up sharply over the past year.

 

Data from Canopy MLS shows that the median sales price of a house in Caldwell County in March, the most recent data available, was almost $189,000, up nearly 22% from March 2020.

 

Sellers in the first three months of 2021 also got on average 97.3% of their asking price for their houses, a high percentage indicating the market is tight, Canopy said in a press release.

 

“Low supply creates a highly favorable market for sellers, as indicated by the original list price to sales price ratio … , showing sellers are getting most of their asking prices,” the press release said.

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