February 16, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Local residential construction started off the New Year with a 9 percent jump in new-home permits in January, according to statistics compiled by the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City (HBA). The organization tracked a seasonally adjusted total of 220 single-family homes permitted last month, up from a revised 198 units for December.
The month showed a dramatic upward spike from the same month a year ago, when just 150 units were permitted in the Greater Kansas City area. January 2009 marked the lowest tally for the month since 1982.
Kansas City home builders continue to monitor housing starts closely to keep new-home inventory levels at a sustainable pace to meet housing demand. Thanks to tax credits passed for new- and existing-home buyers last fall, there are consumers in the market looking to take advantage of the benefits of homeownership. That is positive news for home builders and Kansas City housing, according to HBA Interim General Manager George Schluter.
“With the April 30 sales contract deadline rapidly approaching, builders and buyers alike are moving quickly to ensure they have homes ready,” Schluter said. “All homes must close by June 30 for homeowners to qualify for the tax credit.”
The tax incentives stand to have a significant impact on housing, not only locally but across the nation. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the latest version of the tax credit could spur upwards of 180,000 additional home sales and produce as many as 211,000 jobs. However, buyers need to act soon to make sure sales contracts are signed by the end of April or they will miss out.
“Home building continues to be a vital part of the local and national economies,” Schluter said. “The challenge will be finding ways to continue to boost housing after the tax credits expire this summer.”
Kansas City, Mo., led the list of top-permitting cities in January with 26 single-family home starts. Olathe ranked second with 20 units, followed by Overland Park with 13, Lee’s Summit with 11 and Gardner with 9. Both Cass and Platte counties permitted six units in January, while Lenexa, Shawnee and Smithville permitted five homes for the month.
The Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City (HBA) is the voice of the housing industry and the source for housing information. Comprising approximately 1,000 member companies, the HBA represents an industry that contributes more than $2.5 billion to the Kansas City economy and supports more than 36,000 jobs in the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area