Longview homebuilders picked up far fewer permits for single-family homes in July than a year ago and are lagging in activity so far this year, according to city data.

The Longview Development Services Department issued four permits for single-family homes in July, one-third of the 12 permits issued a year ago.

The 53 permits for single-family homes issued from January through July are about 23.2% below the 69 permits the city issued during the same seven-month period in 2018.

However, the average permit value at $259,000 in July was about 47.2% higher than the average of $176,008 a year ago.

Two builders, one of whom applied for a permit, had no explanation for why homebuilding has dropped.

Barry Lansford of First General Services of Northeast Texas and Toro Enterprises LP provided the identical permit values of $125,000.

Lansford said he listed the proposed sale value of an eight-room, 1,554-square-foot house he is building at 404 E. Grand Ave. and said he applied to build the house under the South Longview Incentive Program, which encourages the construction of affordable or workforce housing.

Brenda Bull, who co-owns Toro with her husband, Lonnie, said her homes tend to sell in the $170,000 to $199,000 range. Toro applied in July to build a 1,440-square-foot, nine-room home at 1301 Frankie Lane.

She said Toro has started seven homes on 28 lots in the Pine Hill subdivision.

The city also issued one permit apiece in July to CBH Inc., Yowell Builders Inc. and Reich Builders.

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 permit totals and average values over past 12 months in Longview

Month Total permits Average permit value
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
December 2018 3 $248,859
November 2018 7 $192,109
Ocobter 2018 6 $206,935
September 2018 11 $177,619
August 2018 4 $135,000
July 2018 12 $176,008