Those homes under construction you see are another good sign for the area. Here’s why.

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Those homes under construction you see are another good sign for the area. Here’s why.

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Nick Graham
A crew works on construction of a new home on Elm Leaf Trail in 2017 in Liberty Twp’s Aspen Trails subdivision, just north of Kyles Station Road. Butler County’s new home construction numbers dipped just 0.5 percent last year but remained a sizable portion of overall totals. STAFF FILE PHOTO

Construction of new homes was up for the region in 2017, with Butler County’s contribution continuing to be a sizable portion of overall totals.

A total of 2,935 single-family permits were issued in Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren counties during 2017, compared to 2,561 in the previous year, a 14.6 percent increase throughout the region, reports the Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati.

Dan Dressman, HBA’s executive director, said he expects similar numbers in 2018 because there is a great deal of optimism in the home construction industry and builders are entering the year “with a strong wind at their back.”

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“They’re all pretty slammed and they’re behind the curve when it comes to getting their projects completed,” Dressman told this media outlet. “A lot of it comes down to … there’s just not enough skilled labor to get the work done, and, as far as building is concerned, they aren’t necessarily finding available lots.”

Butler County saw a total of 649 single-family permits in 2017 compared to 652 the year before, a 0.5 percent dip from 2016. The county placed two of its communities in the top 10 for growth in 2017. Liberty Twp. was ranked second with 279 permits for the year, while West Chester Twp. ranked ninth with 87 permits.

“It’s all about where the lots are that are available,” Dressman said. “There just hasn’t been as many new communities in Butler County as there have been in other parts of the region.”

The same goes for Hamilton County, where single-family permits were flat, registering 534, the same number as 2016.

“Most of the Hamilton County is built out, that’s why it’s been very slow,” Dressman said.

Warren County continued to have the most overall with a total of 1,050 single-family permits from January through December, a 24.2 percent increase, while Clermont County registered the highest jump in new single-family permits in many years, registering an increase of 37.8 percent throughout 2017.

That wasn’t always the case, Dressman said.

“Clermont County just has not had the transportation system that would lend itself to more development,” he said. “It’s always been somewhat behind but now they’re playing a little catch up and several of the builders have bought tracts of land there and are building new homes there.”

Dressman said he expects continued growth in the region for 2018, primarily in Butler and Warren counties “because they’ve got most of the undeveloped land.”

The housing market is on a solid foundation and looks to remain that way this year, Dressman said.

“Unemployment is low and values on existing homes are increasing,” he said. “There’s a shortage of available inventory, which really lends to (an increase in) new home construction, and financing is still really good right now.

“This is a combination that will continue to produce solid numbers again this year.”

BY THE NUMBERS

The top 10 markets for single-family home permits in 2018 for the Greater Cincinnati area (Butler, Warren, Hamilton and Clermont counties).

  1. Hamilton Twp. (Warren County): 291
  2. Liberty Twp. (Butler County): 279
  3. Mason (Warren County): 175
  4. Deerfield Twp. (Warren County): 155
  5. Batavia Twp. (Clermont County): 141
  6. Clearcreek Twp. (Warren County): 134
  7. Turtlecreek Twp. (Warren County): 123
  8. Cincinnati (Hamilton County): 113
  9. West Chester Twp. (Butler County): 87
  10. South Lebanon (Warren County): 86

Source: Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati

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