Asheville Mountain Real Estate Blog

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Location: Mars Hill, NC, United States

A small, highly personalized real estate firm specializing in mountain homes and land in greater Asheville.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Asheville Area Building Permits Decline by Half

The Asheville Citizen Times ran a story earlier this week, which can be summarized in the following quote:
A region of 10 Western North Carolina counties centered around Buncombe showed similar results. Units permitted slid 47.9 percent, from 1,487 to start 2007 to 781 this year.
This has to be seen as good news representing a solid step towards bringing our Western North Carolina housing markets back into balance with respect to supply and demand.

For some time now, one cannot drive through Asheville without seeing a half dozen billboards announcing new mountain lifestyle communities, long after the national market had begun its decline. The overwhelming feeling has been, where is the demand for so much new inventory going to come from?

How Does This Compare Nationally?
This retreat by local builders is a bit greater than those that have been seen for the first quarter of 2008 nationally. In the United States as a whole, comparing to the same month of the previous year, the declines looked like this:
Januray, 2008 permits declined by 33.1% from 2007.
February came in at 36.5% less than February, 2007.
March national numbers, (PDF), showed a 40.9% decline in new permits.

Housing markets locally have the same fundamental problems as we have seen nationally, and these are summarized quite well from The Citizen Times article:
In most markets, the level of production (of homes) far exceeded the capacity of the market to absorb it.
Like anywhere, it will take some fair amount of time yet to undo all of this and restore balance.

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