The number of single-family homes being built in Longview during the third quarter exactly matched last year’s tally, but average prices jumped as builders faced higher costs.
According to data from the Longview Development Services Department, the city issued 27 permits during both the third quarter of 2018 and 2019. But the average permit value jumped nearly 13 percent, to $183,467 from $162,876 a year ago.
The stability in number and increase in values are signs the local housing economy is healthy, according to the president of the East Texas Builders Association.
“We have a lot of bigger homes, more expensive homes,” said Chris Hall, association president. “That is usually a sign the economy is doing well.”
Hall said the association is featuring 16 area homes in the Parade of Homes during the first two weekends of November, up from eight during the spring event.
While the number of third-quarter starts was flat with a year ago, the 76 permits issued so far this year lag last year’s nine-month tally of 84. The city issued seven permits in September, down from 11 a year ago.
Like Hall, Brent Conaway, a partner with the family owned Conaway & Sons, said he feels “pretty confident about everything right now. Interest rates right now are low.”
Conaway said labor, supplies and other factors are driving up the cost of homes.
Conaway & Sons took out permits in September for two homes on Swinging Bridge Road in far-west Longview. Their permit values are $105,238 for an 11-room house and $109,467 for a nine-room home.
The homes will sell in the $165,000 range, Conaway said, adding a new home that is considered “affordable” is no longer on the market for $100,000.
Homes in the $100,000 to $199,999 price range accounted for 57% of sales in Longview ZIP codes in August, according to data from the Longview Area Association of Realtors.
The home permits issued in September ranged from $69,000 for a 1,607-square-foot home JVD General Contractors is building at 1214 Ridgelea Ave. to $505,000 for a 4,855-square-foot home Andrew Traylor is building at 1112 Masters Way.
JVD is building a home through the South Longview Incentive Program, which waives fees to encourage the building of more affordable 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 real estate professional’s commission.