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November home construction down from 2016

By Ken Hedler
Dec. 4, 2017 at 11:52 p.m.

The number of permits issued for construction of single-family homes in Longview was down in November from a year ago, while the average cost of construction fell 20 percent, city data shows.

The city's Development Services Department said Monday it issued eight permits for single-family homes in November, down from 10 in November 2016 but the same number as issued in October.

November permits ranged in value from from $85,000 for permits for four 1,515-square-foot houses planned by First Choice Affordable Homes on Berkley Street to $274,000 for a 3,786-square-foot house in the works by Longview Alpha Construction Co. LLC at 2903 Fairway Oaks Lane.

Construction values averaged $160,750, down from $202,000 a year ago, a number skewed by First Choice receiving permits for half of the eight homes. As with all building permit values, the listed value is the construction cost and does not take into account other factors that go into the sale price of a home, including land, the builder's profit and Realtor's commission.

For instance, the First Choice homes are likely to sell in the $105,000 to $110,000 range, said Mike Alston, a partner in the LLC.

Alston declined to speculate on why the number of permits dropped from a year ago, but said, "The end of the year is (when) you are wrapping up with what you did and making the plans for next year. "You will think that January and February will be more active than November and December."

Alston's assessment applies to January and February of this year, with 14 permits issued both months. The city issued only four permits this past December.

His company, which includes former City Councilman Richard Manley as a partner, has not seen a slack in building this year.

First Choice has completed four homes on Berkley Street since construction started in the spring, sold three of the homes and has a contract on the fourth home from a prospective buyer.

Alston said First Choice also is expanding the subdivision from 14 lots by adding six lots.

He expressed optimism about the coming year.

"I think 2018 will be a banner year," Alston said, adding he thinks potential buyers will have more disposable income as the economy improves.



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