Builders constructed new single-family homes this year in the Dayton area at unprecedented speed, after years of a slowdown in construction that left the region’s housing stock in short supply.
After a 15-year high in building new homes in the region in 2020, the amount built in 2021 surpassed that, according to Eric Farrell, CEO of the Dayton Home Builders Association. He said it’s clear there’s a need for more housing, especially as home prices are still extremely competitive in the Dayton area.
“I think these numbers support that homes have never been more important,” Farrell said.
Many of the new homes were built around Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and in Warren County, according to a Dayton Daily News analysis data by the Dayton Home Builders Association, which tracks permits around the region.
In 2021, 2,595 single-family homes permits were filed in the Dayton area compared to 1,955 last year. The previous high was pre-Great Recession when 2,465 were filed in 2006.
At least 1,077 permits were filed in Warren County communities to build new homes in 2021, according to the data. A total of 547 permits were filed for homes in Huber Heights, Fairborn, Beavercreek and Beavercreek Twp. in 2021.
In Huber Heights alone, 245 permits were filed for new homes in 2021, according to the Dayton Home Builders Association data. Huber Heights had the most home permits filed in 2021 in the region.
Nearby in Beavercreek, another booming city for new homes near the base, 137 permits were filed.
The city of Mason led Warren County construction with 217 new home permits filed.
Having a permit doesn’t always mean the home was built, but it is an easy way to track where people are looking to build homes.
Brian Chodkowski, interim city manager for Huber Heights, said it’s not a surprise that so many people are moving to the growing city off Interstate 70. Proximity to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio’s largest single-site employer, diversity in housing stock and access to shopping and amenities nearby make it an attractive place to live, he said.
He noted that Huber Heights isn’t just adding single-family homes: Huber Heights added 308 new market-rate apartments in 2020 while approving the construction of another 192 market rate apartments in 2021.
Chodkowski said most of the city’s income tax comes from people who work in and around Wright-Patt and whose paychecks come from the Department of Defense, so it makes sense they would want to live close to the base and their jobs.
“We believe the growth of Huber Heights over the last 10 years affirms that in addition to our outstanding location in the region, our commitment to improve and maintain infrastructure as well as our continued investment in community resources and amenities such as The Kroger Aquatic Center and The Rose Amphitheater, make the City of Huber Heights a special community that people want to call their home,” he said.
Farrell said he expects building to continue, but there are also challenges right now to new home building. Labor shortages and lumber costs are two of them.
Many people left the industry after the 2008 housing crisis dampened housing building, and lumber costs have fluctuated all year, along with other building material costs.
For municipalities who are looking to build more housing, Farrell said he was happy to talk. He argues that housing is a key part of the region’s development, along with attracting jobs and people to the region, because people need a place to live.
“Lending right now is super favorable,” he said. “There should be no better time for local municipalities to encourage building with interest rates still hovering at the low threes.”
By the numbers: Building permit requests
Huber Heights: 245
Hamilton Twp.: 191
Washington Twp.: 155