Home permits within the city of Longview held steady at six issued in October — the same as a year ago, according to data from the city’s Development Services Department.
However, the average permit increased by 18.5% from $206,935 a year ago to $245,317 this past month. They ranged in value in October from $100,000 for a 10-room house A Few Good Men is building at 306 S. Gum St. to $356,900 for a 14-room house Jim Fisher & Associates is building at 5601 Palladio Lane.
And while the permits tied in number for both months, permits issued so far this year at 82 trail the 90 that the city issued through October a year ago.
The steadiness in permits along with the increase in value show the city’s housing market remains strong, said Chris Hall, president of the East Texas Builders Association.
“We just have an economy that is still red hot,” Hall said. “There are some people in a position who can afford to build a more expensive home.”
Hall, who said he builds custom homes ranging in sale price from $325,000 to $800,000, indicated upward mobility enables homeowners to move into pricier homes.
Demand for higher-priced homes draws builders such as George Longoria, managing director of L6 Enterprises LLC of Garland. His company, which is named for six Longoria family members, is building a 17-room, two-story custom home at 4230 Savannah Hills Lane in a gated subdivision.
The permit is valued at $300,000, but Longoria said the sale price is $575,000. The house will have a swimming pool and spa.
Longoria said he pursued other opportunities after the housing market collapsed during the Great Recession in 2008 by going back to school. He said he earned a bachelor’s degree in construction science from Texas A&M University-Commerce and certification in project management, along with an MBA online from the Jack Welch Management Institute.
He said he resumed homebuilding about three months ago with the improving housing market. He said he also is building a custom home in Kilgore.
At the lower end of the market, Dane Lilly, a partner with Harold Whitaker at A Few Good Men, said his company took out a permit to build the Gum Street home for a buyer whose home elsewhere burned down. They came up the name for the business because Whitaker is a Navy veteran.
“We do affordable homes,” Lilly said. “We want you to own a home. We don’t want the home to own you.”
He said the price tag for the home will be about $120,000.
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.