Butler County home construction slows

But permit numbers are expected to bounce back, experts say.

Single-family permits issued for the county went from 529 in 2014 to 524 such permits through November 2015, a 0.8 percent drop.

Liberty Twp., which continued to be Butler County’s brightest spot for new single-family home permits, issued 221 through November 2015, down 16 percent from the 264 issued through the same time in 2014.

Still, Liberty Twp.’s numbers accounted for four out of 10 permits in the county and was more than any other jurisdiction in the four-county region, according to Dan Dressman, the HBA’s executive director.

“It continues to lead in terms of overall jurisdiction because there’s more lots available … than other communities,” Dressman said. “They’re already platted, they’re on the ground and they can issue the permits for them.”

The slight slowdown in the amount of permits issued isn’t any cause for concern, especially in “a very desirable area” that is expected to see continued growth, he said.

“I think in particular we’re going to see some additional growth as a result of the new Liberty Center,” Dressman said. “There’s going to be a lot more interest in that immediate area as a result of some of those amenities that are available there. That’s going to also spur additional residential sales.”

In addition, there still remains “quite a bit of additional land” in Liberty that has yet to be developed, Dressman said.

“That lends itself to a positive future for residential development,” he said. “Typically, what we see is that rooftops drive business and when you get the kind of investment that we have with Liberty Center there, that means there’s an anticipation that there’s going to be the incomes, there’s going to be the households to be able to support that type of financial commitment.”

Liberty Twp. continued to outpace Butler County’s next largest issuers of such permits, West Chester Twp. and Fairfield Twp., which issued 66 and 70 in 2015 through November, respectively, close to the 68 they both notched in 2014.

Although Liberty Twp. slowed in its permits issued last year through November, the region as a whole continues to grow. Single-family home building permits issued in Butler, Warren, Hamilton and Clermont counties went from 1,533 in 2011 to 1,596 in 2012, then 2,058 in 2013 and 2,049 in 2014.

Full-year statistics are not yet available for 2015, but with 2,097 single-family home permits issued through November 2015, the region already has exceeded 2014 totals, Dressman said.

“We expect 2015 to be an improving year for home building, with a projected double digit increase and expect an even better year to come, especially if job growth continues and existing home values increase,” he said.

Even thought Butler County saw a slight decrease in permits issued through November, it could be poised for a comeback thanks to favorable year-end temperatures.

“It’s definitely a weather issue,” he said. “There was quite a bit of rain (earlier in the year) and I still think that you’re going to see some really good results with the Butler County numbers. We’ve still got another month and there probably will be some other permits that were issued that will bring it back up in a positive area.”

Butler County wasn’t the only county to see a slight decrease in the amount of permits issued in 2015.

Clermont County dropped 7.8 percent (284 single-family permits). Its focus continues to center on Union and Batavia townships, Dressman said.

Warren County continued its overall dominance of single-family home permits issued in the region, with 826 single-family permits issue during the first 11 months of the year, a 19 percent increase. The increase was supported by growth in Hamilton Twp., Clearcreek Twp. and Mason all passed the century mark in permits issued, while Springboro and Turtlecreek Twp. also saw strong activity.

Hamilton County experienced the biggest percentage gains in single-family residential permits, going from 63 single-family permits during this period, compared to 375 last year, a 23.5 percent increase through November. The increase was supported by strong growth in Cincinnati, Harrison and Green Twp., Dressman said.

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