The city of Longview issued three permits for single-family homes in May, down 70 percent from 10 issued a year ago and the same low numbers as in December and January.

However, the average permit values increased by 21.8 percent from $182,779 in May 2018 to $222,667 a month ago. Tessa Bradley Homes LLC took out two of the permits — spec homes on 4216 and 4218 Savannah Hills Lane (with permit values of $253,000 and $325,000, respectively) — while JVD General Contractors obtained a permit valued at $90,000 for a home through the South Longview Incentive Program at 2500 Lilly St.

The low numbers came as somewhat of a surprise to both Bradley and Chris Hall, president of the East Texas Builders Association.

“The real estate market has really picked up in the past few years,” said Bradley, who has been building homes since 2008. “I think overall the economy is doing a lot better.”

Bradley also acknowledged she builds homes outside the city, as does Hall.

Hall said he finds the city permit numbers “really perplexing,” adding, “Maybe pulling the three permits is not really indicative of the building that is going on (in the area).”

He said a number of builders have told him they are busy.

Bradley said she builds eight to 12 homes a year and also does remodeling work.

She said she will find a market for the homes on Savannah Hills Lane from doctors and other professional people, along with retirees. She said she will sell the homes as an agent for Trina Griffith & Co.

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.

Permits issued over the past12 months and average values Month Permit totals Average value

Month Permit totals Average value
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
October 2018 6 $206,935
September 2018 11 $177,619
August 2018 4 $135,000
July 2018 12 $176,008
June 2018 7 $176,281
May 2018 10 $182,779