The pace of local homebuilding remains strong heading into the final few months of the year.
Permits issued for the construction of single-family homes in Colorado Springs and El Paso County totaled 271 in October, a one-quarter increase over the same month last year, according to a Pikes Peak Regional Building Department report released Wednesday.
Permit totals have increased in seven out of the 10 months in 2017 on a year-over-year basis.
Year to date, single-family permits totaled 2,956 or 5.2 percent higher than the same period in 2016, Regional Building's report shows.
Barring a sudden drop in the pace of homebuilding, this year's permit total probably should exceed 2016's figure of 3,237. Last year's permit total was the highest in a decade.
Homebuilders have pointed to a variety of factors for the resurgence in homebuilding.
Low mortgage rates have led the way. Thirty-year, fixed-rate loans jumped to a nationwide average of 3.94 percent last week, the highest since late July, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac. Nevertheless, long-term rates under 4 percent have proven popular with new home buyers, builders have said.
Other factors that have propelled the new home market include a stronger economy, a tight supply of houses available for purchase on the resale side of the market and Denver-area buyers moving to the Pikes Peak region in search of lower housing costs.
Local economists, business leaders and city officials keep a close watch on the state of the housing market. The industry is a key part of the local economy and employs thousands of people in the construction trades, such as framers, drywallers, electricians and the like.
Also, Colorado Springs and other local governments depend on sales tax revenues from building material purchases to help fund their budgets and pay for public safety, parks and other services.
Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228