Kent County Home Builders: Keep Building

According to the latest statistics from Builder Track Reports, which tracks home building activity in West Michigan – Kent County home builders are having their strongest year in five years, despite getting off to a slow start.

With an increase of almost 10% over last year’s 9 month mark of 744 housing starts, builders started 814 new single family homes through the first nine months of the year. Builders pulled permits for 324 single family homes in the third quarter compared to 287 permits in the same period last year – according to Builder Track.

Apartment construction, a sector that was dead in 2010 and 2011, saw an increase of almost 300 percent through September with 630 units under construction compared to 159 units under construction during the first nine months of 2013.

According to Builder Track, 512 of the new apartments under construction were in the city of Grand Rapids. Most of the permits for new units were in or near downtown.

Condominiums also showed strong growth with 146 units under construction compared to 105 units being built last year.

All told, construction began on 1,632 living units through the first nine months of the year, a 61 percent increase over the first nine months of 2013.

Plainfield Township replaced Caledonia Township as the county’s hottest housing market with 93 new building permits for single family homes through September, according to Builder Track. Caledonia Township came in third with 77 building permits while Byron Township reported 87 permits for single family homes.

The city of Grand Rapids came in fourth with 54 building permits for single family homes. That is a 157 percent increase over the first nine months of 2013, when 21 permits were pulled. In 2010, builders pulled only nine permits for single family homes in Grand Rapids.