Homebuilders took out 13 permits for single-family homes in Longview in January, which is generally one of the slowest months of the year.

The permit totals are more than four times the three permits for single-family homes that the city issued in January 2019, according to data from the Longview Development Services Departments. The permits had an average value of $162,965, about 5.8% higher than the average of $154,062 a year ago.

James A. Williams of J.A.W. Marketing took out the most permits in January at four, followed by three for Conaway & Sons.

Williams, who has been building homes for 46 years, is continuing to build attached homes, called townhomes, on Yosemite Way in the Premier Park subdivision that he started 10 years ago. Three Yosemite Way homes will have 1,740 square feet, and the fourth will have 1,990 square feet.

“We had a flurry of activity at the end of the year,” Williams said. “We had more sales than we ever had, and we are still selling.”

Williams said he is targeting a market of buyers who are empty nesters or widowed and want to move into smaller homes.

By contrast, Conaway & Sons has first-time homebuyers or people moving up, partner Brent Conaway said.

“We are off to a good start,” Conaway said. “We feel really good about everything that is going on, the housing market.”

Conaway said one of the two homes his company planned to build on Mission Creek Drive has sold. The city issued permits for two 11-room homes with 2,211 square feet on Mission Creek and a 13-room home with 2,229 square on Boston Drive.

The two permit values for Mission Creek are $112,468 and the Boston Drive home has a permit value at $138,614, city data show. Conaway said the Boston Drive home likely would sell in the low $200,000 range.

Three of the Yosemite Way homes have permit values of $110,000, and the largest one’s permit value is $120,000.

The townhomes will go on the market for the mid-$160,000 to upper-$180,000 range, Williams said.

“We are fixing to have some price increases,” Williams said. “Part of it is building costs. Part of it is development costs.”

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 real estate professional’s commission.

Home permits issued over past 12 months and average value

Month Total permits Average value
January 2020 13 $162,965
December 2019 26 $109,896
November 2019 15 $198,330
October 2019 6 $245,317
September 2019 7 $109,474
August 2019 16 $181,926
July 2019 4 $259,000
June 2019 7 $186,100
May 2019 3 $222,667
April 2019 6 $202,914
March 2019 13 $180,836
February 2019 17 $141,345
January 2019 3 $154,062