Cape Cod Residential Building Permit Activity Remains Steady

homebuildingHYANNIS – The number and value of residential building permits remained steady in 2015 compared to the last several years, according to the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Cape Cod.

The number of new, single family building permits increased to 524 from 495 in 2014. The total value of the single family permits in 2015 was $213 million, which was an increase of just $3 million from 2014.

The number of rebuilt home permits, where an existing home is torn down and a new one is built on the same lot, saw a 23 percent increase from 2014.

“This increase points to the continued decrease of available building lots on the Cape,” said Christine Duren, the executive director of the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Cape Cod.

Duren said the lack of those available building lots will continue to see the industry shift primarily to remodels, renovations and additions.

“I don’t see how it can be any other way unfortunately,” she said. “We can always build up if we can get zoning to work. We can also build smaller and more density but that is not a function of the home builders association. That is a function of municipal and county zoning.”

There were about 3,650 remodel, renovation and addition permits issued in 2015 which remained the same from 2014. The value of those permits increased by 16 percent.

“The dollar amount of each individual permit has increased,” Duren said. People are spending a little bit more money when they renovate, remodel or put on an addition.”

The value of the remodeling permits increased to $232 million in 2015 from $200 million in 2014.

“We see more and more homeowners choosing to improve their exiting home versus trying to find land to build or find another existing home that meets their needs and desires,” said Matt Anderson, the president of the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Cape Cod and owner of Anderson Framing & Remodeling.

Duren said the increase of value of remodeling work in the area is not resulting in higher employment for the industry.

“It would seem so because everyone is so busy, incredibly busy, to the point where they are even, sadly, either turning down work or having to push work into 2017,” Duren said. “The major reason is because of the lack of qualified laborers and managers.

Duren said there just isn’t a pool of people coming out of high schools or vocational schools that see residential construction as a viable career.

The association also reported an increase in the number of permits for solar panels and projects over the last five years. There were 359 permits in 2015 compared to 124 in 2011, which is an increase of 190 percent.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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