New construction picks upPublished 3:34pm Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Construction on new homes in Hartselle is on track to have its best year since 2007, before the housing bubble burst in 2008.
Through the first six months of the year, the City of Hartselle has issued 26 building permits. If that pattern holds up, the city will have its best year of new home construction since 86 building permits were issued in 2007.
In 2008, those numbers decreased to 38 before hitting a low of 11 in 2009.
City Planner Jeremy Griffith said those numbers are encouraging for the city.
“We’re beginning to see things pick up again,” Griffith said. “They’re no where close to what it was in the early 2000s, but it’s definitely improving.”
Over the last 10 years, the peak of building occurred in the years 2003, 2004 and 2005, but still remained strong until 2008.
Rajane Hampton, Realtor with United Country Four Oaks Realty, said she’s seen an increase in business over the last few months, not only with new construction, but also with existing home sales.
Hampton said the increase in activity can be attributed to more than just a rebounding economy. She believes the new Hartselle High School has also been a major factor.
“I think it’s really been a combination of both of them,” Hampton said. “The economy is picking up, but the new high school has really helped the housing market here.
“Right now, existing homes are selling within days and rental homes are being leased within hours.”
While the new home construction has been picking up, Griffith said it’s not from new subdivisions being built.
“Mostly, it’s from developers building on empty lots in current subdivisions,” Griffith said. “Dating back to 2000, our records show that there are 166 unsold lots within the city. Some developers are holding on to those lots. That number may be a little high, but there’s still a large number of subdvision lots that haven’t been finished.”
Mayor Don Hall said he believes the current trend is promising.
“I hope that trend continues,” Hall said. “I think the school has had a big impact on it and we’ll see that continue to grow.”