Polk new house permits down 14 pct in ?07

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The number of permits issued for new houses in Polk County declined by about 14 percent in 2007 compared to 2006, according to figures from the county and Columbus building inspection offices.

The offices report a total of 164 permits issued for single family dwellings in 2007, down from 191 in 2006.

The total number of permits is the second lowest in the last five years, just above the total of 163 in 2005.

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The 2007 total is well below a high of 218 permits issued for single family residences in 2003, but well above a low for this decade of 113 permits in 2000.

The county continued to see a trend of rising values for new homes. The average value of new houses built in 2007 soared to $215,785, up about 9 percent from 2006.

With the entry of more upscale subdivisions in recent years, the average value of new homes constructed in the county has more than doubled in the past five years.

The building permit reports show that the number of permits declined in the second half of 2007. While 85 permits were issued in the first six months of the year, only 65 were issued in the last six months. Only seven permits were issued this past December, compared to 15 in December of 2006.