Increase indicates DeSoto market may have bottomed outA survey of building permits for new homes issued so far this year in DeSoto County shows some increases over the same year-ago period, sparking optimism that here's the long-awaited bounce from the industry bottom.
January-through-August figures for single-family homes compiled by the DeSoto Planning Commission show increases in Hernando with 80 (almost double the 43 of the same eight-month period in 2009); Olive Branch with 77 (69 last year); Horn Lake with 16 (12 last year); and unincorporated areas with 88 (72).
There were declines in Walls, with 7 (10 last year); and in Southaven with 86 (97), according to the figures compiled by administrative assistant Ashley Hendricks.
The January-August total countywide is 354, with 303 recorded for the period last year. The total for all of 2009 was 487, the lowest of all yearly figures going back to 1999, when the total was 2,260. The highest annual tally during the period was 2,802, recorded in the heady year of 2005.
From 2,581 in 2006, the total dropped to 1,687 in 2007 as the country entered a recession, and plunged in 2008 to 603. While the downturn has proved stubborn, players in the building scene are upbeat on the new figures.
"It's surprising, we've been quite active this year, given all things in perspective," said Bob Barber, Hernando planning director. "It looks like it's bottomed and it's going back up." The city's total for all of 2009 was 73, already exceeded, and Barber said the final figure for this year could reach 100.
Chambliss said he was told recently by B.J. Page, Olive Branch planning director, that "the city appears to be about 16 permits ahead of last year."
"He was hopeful to be in the 120-range by the end of the year," said Chambliss. "That's a pretty good number."
In 2009, builders pulled 109 permits in Olive Branch (693 were issued in that go-go year, 2005).
Already this year in the Memphis area, builders have pulled more than 430 building permits, exceeding the 385 pulled in all of 2009.
Chambliss said that "smart" new homes, some built with government-backed "Energy Star" elements, have helped the market uptick. He said that one solar-oriented, 1,800-square-foot home from Massey Home Builders brought in a June utility bill of just $85.
While existing homes may prove attractive to buyers, Chambliss said, it's in new homes "where you're going to see values returning. If there's been depreciation of values, the way to appreciation is led by new construction. It will benefit us all."
"A rise in values will help cities strapped for money with their tax base, and those existing homeowners who are upside-down on their mortgages or depreciated," Chambliss said.
Methodist HospitalOpening Summer 2013Olive Branchmethodisthealth.org/locations
Crystal BallPresented by Community FoundationSaturday, January 19, 6 pmcrystalballgala.org
Donnie Chambliss & Margie Mays - A Bob Leigh Realtor Team 6900 Cobblestone Blvd. Southaven MS 38672 | 901.355.2074 | 901.487.1165