Durham building permits up in 10 months through April

May. 09, 2013 @ 07:06 PM

Building permits filed in the city and county of Durham in the 10-month period through April were up 40 percent year-over-year, according to Durham City-County Building and Inspections data.

A total of 966 permits were filed between July 1, 2012, and April of this year compared with that same period in fiscal year 2011-12, for total construction costs of about $265 million. Those permits were for 2,002 housing units.

In April, the number of permits of was down about 8 percent compared with the previous month. About 76 of the 112 permits filed in April were for single-family homes.

Frank Thomas, director of government relations for the Homebuilders Association of Durham, said the year-over-year increase in permits in July through April is a good sign.

“I think people in the industry as a whole are feeling more positive,” he said. “Having said that, I think actual signs of significant improvement have been more in other places than they are here. Multi-family has been doing very well over the last few years, but I don’t know if anyone knows how long (that will be) going on.”

Andy Krichman, president of the association and of the general contracting firm Krichco Construction Inc., said he’s seen a “tremendous” amount of growth in Durham, but more on the renovation side.

“We build a lot of new homes; we’re not seeing the demand for expensive luxury homes,” he said. “We’re beginning to see some lower end homes, and the new homes (have) not really come back as much as we’d like to see, but it’s starting for sure.”

According to the Durham City-County Building and Inspections data, permits for residential additions were down about 4 percent year-over-year to 1,233 between July of last year and April of this year.

In April compared with the previous month, permits for residential additions were up about 25 percent.

While Krichman said the year-over-year decline between July of last year and April of this year was “negligible,” he said the month-over-month increase was significant.

“A lot of times in the spring that happens, people just do more after the weather gets nicer, and we had a late spring here,” he said. “There’s a lot of work out there right now,” he added.