The Longview Development Services Department issued 16 permits for single-family homes in August, the busiest month since builders took out 17 permits in February.
The 16 permits were four times the four permits the city issued in August 2018, and the average permit value increased by 34.8% percent from $135,000 to $181,926.
Despite the high number, the 69 permits issued so far this year lag the 73 issued from January through August last year.
The permits ranged in value from $80,000 for an eight-room house by Three III Enterprise LLC at 816 Walnut St. to $457,815 for a 17-room house Waggoner Custom Homes is building at 217 Longleaf Drive. The Walnut Street home falls under the South Longview Incentive program, with fees waived.
Jame A. Williams of J.A.W. Marketing and Conaway & Sons each took out four permits, the most of any builder.
Brent Conaway, a partner in his family business, and Williams said they are building homes in existing subdivisions and both cited a favorable environment for home sales. Williams is building single-family attached homes, or townhomes, on Yosemite Way in the Premier Park subdivision, while Conaway is building homes in the Mission Creek subdivision.
Williams, managing general partner with J.A.W. Marketing, said home sales in Premier Park, where construction started about nine years ago, tend to pick up toward the end of the year.
“We have had people who have been looking at us for a couple of years, and they finally made up their minds to come see us (about buying),” he said.
“We sell a lifestyle more than anything else,” he said, noting that Premier Park tends to appeal to seniors, retirees and empty nesters.
By contrast, Conaway said his homes are for buyers “looking for something realistic, for what they can afford.”
He said they include people moving up from apartments.
“They are going to be the buyers of these homes,” Conaway said. “There may be some retirees who are downsizing.”
Conaway’s homes range from 1,673 square feet to 1,838 square feet, and range in permit value from $98,479 to $108,390, according to city data.
Referring to the future sales price, he said, “Our goal is to stay less than the $200,000 mark.”
Williams’ townhomes range in size from 1,700 to 2,000 square feet and in permit value from $120,000 to $140,000, according to city data.
He said the smaller townhomes will sell in the $160,000 range, while the bigger ones will go on the market in the upper $180,000 range.
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.