Area residential building increases

Residential building development in the region has increased this year, mimicking national trends.

Most area counties saw an uptick in the amount of permits obtained for development, which bodes well for residential building, said Robert Dietz, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders.

“I attribute the growth to the economy’s upswing,” said Katheen Unger, the Home Builders Association of Dayton’s executive director. “People are looking for permanence once again. They feel secure in their jobs and they want roots that are fully entrenched, and that comes with building or buying a house.”

Single-family unit permits obtained in the Dayton region have increased 24.3 percent in 2016, according to data comparing number from April 2015 to 2016.

According to data ranging from January to May 2015 and the same months in 2016, permit numbers for single-family residential development increased in Warren and Greene counties. Miami County stayed flat, decreasing from 58 last year to 57 this year.

Montgomery County officials did not respond to requests for building permit data.

Mike Oberer, vice president of Oberer Companies, said he has seen more demand in Greene County for developing lots for other builders and for its own building entity.

“We’ve seen an increase in interest for multi-family units because of the aging population who are downsizing,” Oberer said.

multi-family units can be attributed to certain target populations. Dietz said developers could see more demand for multi-family residential buildings as more millennials start their careers and choose to rent.

Despite the recent surge, the Miami Valley housing market has yet to recover fully from the recession’s impact. In 2005, more than 1,200 single-family unit building permits were obtained, according to data from the HBA of Dayton. It hit an all-time low in 2011 with just 363 permits for single-family units.

That data is tracked by municipality and development, but not by county.

Unger said finding skilled construction workers could be a challenge. A large number of workers left the residential construction industry when the economy tanked. Home-building prosperity can be measured by accessibility to three things: labor, lending and lots.

“There has to be access to lending opportunities and most smaller builders will get their financing from a local bank,” Dietz said. “Beyond that, there has to be access to labor, or skilled works, and the lots to actually develop.”

Total permit numbers for all units are expected to continue to rise.

“This has probably been the most significant year for us since the recession, but it wouldn’t be the first year we saw a trend or an uptick,” Oberer said. “We just have a little more momentum.”