Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Recovery for local homebuilding remains on track

RICH LADEN Updated: February 1, 2013 at 12:00 am

Last year’s homebuilding recovery is continuing in 2013.

Single-family homebuilding permits totaled 178 in January in Colorado Springs and El Paso County, according to a report Friday by the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department.
January’s total was more than double the 85 permits issued during the same month last year, Regional Building records show.

The good start for the homebuilding industry follows on the heels of 2012, when local single-family building permits rose nearly 60 percent over the previous year. Home construction nose-dived beginning around 2006, and the nation headed into a recession the following year.

Ralph Braden, a Nor’wood Development Group vice president who oversees development of the company’s 1,600-acre Wolf Ranch community on the Springs’ far northwest side, said he’s looking for the homebuilding rebound to continue in 2013. However, he added he remains guarded about the market’s direction.

Braden wants to see how the federal government’s new health care law, possible defense industry spending cuts and other outside influences might affect businesses and their employees in the Pikes Peak region. He’s also waiting to see whether the area will experience any significant job growth this year.

Nor’wood sold 81 Wolf Ranch home sites to builders in 2012, which was a nearly 40 percent increase over the number of home sites sold in 2011, Braden said.
Still, before the economic downturn, Nor’wood had sold 240 lots in Wolf Ranch in 2006, he said. This year, Nor’wood hopes to hit 100 sales.

“We’re not back to a real robust market, but the trend lines are in the right direction,” Braden said. “To me, that’s encouraging.”

The homebuilding industry is a closely watched part of the local economy. Not only does the industry employ thousands of people, but local governments collect millions of dollars on the purchase of building materials, which help fund basic services such as public safety, roads and parks.

Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228 Twitter @richladen
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