The Carroll chapter of the Homebuilders Association of Maryland received good news last week, as the number of building permits and home sales for the first quarter of 1993 increased over the same period last year.
"The first quarter is usually the leading quarter, and in the first quarter of 1993 there were 275 single-family home sales in Carroll County," said Fritzi Hallock of the Legg Mason Realty Group at the association's meeting Thursday.
"That's up 23 percent from 1992 and 73 percent from 1991 for the first quarter. Carroll is the only county in the Baltimore region that is up at all."
During all of 1992, a total of 999 permits were issued for new single-family homes.
The first quarter of 1993 showed a steady rise in building permit applications at the Carroll County Bureau of Permits and Inspections: 68 in January, 81 in February and 97 in March, for a total of 246 applications for new homes. It issued 231 permits.
April showed a sharp increase, with 136 applications and 115 permits issued for new homes.
Legg Mason's survey of active subdivision projects of 20 or more new homes found that such projects have increased from 18 subdivisions in 1989 to 43 in 1993, Ms. Hallock said.
The median base price of a production (not custom-built), single-family home has risen to $173,746.
Ms. Hallock listed several reasons for the increase in building and buying in Carroll:
* The high quality of the school system.
* Affordability of homes in Carroll.
* The quality of life in Carroll.
* The type of businesses that have been moving into the county, such as Giant Food and Wal-Mart.
* The good reputation of Carroll's builders.
* Carroll's central location to jobs in the Baltimore-Washington-southern Pennsylvania area.
Ms. Hallock said that many of Carroll's new residents are married couples.
In 1990, 37 percent of the households in Carroll were married couples 35- to 44 years old, with children, Ms. Hallock said. Another 33 percent were 25- to 34 years old, married, without children, or married, without children, and over 44.
"They're your market, your buyers," she told the builders.
She said the broad variety of styles of homes offered in Carroll contributes to the increase in buying and building.