Rising Costs Are Weighing On Builders

For the second consecutive month, the number of new housing starts is down compared to numbers from a year ago.

In April 2019, permits were issued for 137 new single family homes in Johnston County, down from 180 issued in April 2019.

In March 2019, 155 permits were approved, a decrease from 193 new home permits approved in March 2018.

Johnston County Building Inspections Director Dean Barbour says the trend is both local and national. Barbour blames rising costs as the reason for the drop-off in new residential construction.

“The housing market numbers are slightly down nationwide due to a tight labor market and an increase in material cost,” Barbour said. “The entry level market has limited housing inventory which is a concern to first time home buyers. The housing affordability has declined in this market due to the high price of lots to the developers. Another reason for the lull in permits is builders are trying to sell their existing homes before they purchase new permits.”

Barbour believes the decline is only temporary and will pick back up in the near future.  “The numbers that we are comparing from last year are incomparable due to the all-time record growth we experienced in 2018. With continued low interest rates, there is no reason this growth will not continue.”

Nine manufactured home permits were issued in Johnston County in April.  11 townhome permits and 6 new commercial construction permits were also approved.

A total of $215,725.30 in fees were collected last month by the Johnston County Building Inspections Department.  4,650 inspections passed while 1,315 failed in April.