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El Paso County new home activity mirrors regional trend

Fri, Jun 24, 2011

News

While new home sales in the west were up 33 percent from May, 2010 to this May, they were still the second lowest they’ve been in more than a decade.
The western region that the Federal Housing and Finance Agency reports on includes California, said Colorado Division of Housing spokesman, Ryan McMaken.
“So when you look at the numbers for the region, you realize what you’ve got here in Colorado must be tiny,” McMaken said.
Regionally there were 8,000 new home sales in May, 2011, according to the report. That’s compared to about 25,000 new home sales at the peak of the market in 2006, McMaken said. While those 8,000 sales regionally this year is astoundingly low, it’s actually up 33 percent from 6,000 new home sales in May, 2010.
Colorado does not track new home sales, but McMaken noted that new residential building permits offer a decent comparison.
El Paso County issued building permits for almost 500 single family homes at the height of the market in 2006 and just 133 this May, down from 152 in May of 2010.
However, year-to-date, building permits in El Paso County are up from 762 in 2010 to 838 this year.
That’s for units, not for single family homes, McMaken said. One of the big differences in the market today versus 2006 is that developers today are building apartment units and in 2006 they were building, almost exclusively, single-family homes.
“El Paso County is in dire need of apartments because there has been no new construction there in a long time,” McMaken said. “It makes sense that the market would respond to that need.”

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