Home construction activity for year close to that of '95

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Single-family home construction in the Baltimore region last year was expected to remain about on par with 1995 construction levels, according to the year-end U.S. Housing Markets report.

Through November, builders had pulled permits for 8,728 homes, compared with 9,800 permits for the full year in 1995.

Baltimore-area developers have been hurt in large part by slow job growth in the region, stated the report, published by the housing research unit of Hanley-Wood Inc., a national publisher of magazines and trade journals for the homebuilding and remodeling industries.

The report noted that in Carroll County, where school construction has lagged rapid homebuilding in recent years, voters approved an 18-month development moratorium.

For the Washington region, builders were expected to pull more than 22,000 single-family permits for 1996, matching construction volume of 1995 but falling short of the 1994 pace.

In the capital region, sales of single-family detached homes were strong in the spring, but slowed down about midyear.

Nationally, home sales ran ahead of the 1995 pace month after month and single-family builders had their busiest year in a decade. Through November, 704,000 new homes had sold, compared with 622,000 in the first 11 months of 1995.

When the Commerce Department completes its tally a few months from now, the annual single-family permit volume might have exceeded any of the 1980s boom years, the report said.

Pub Date: 1/19/97

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