Third-quarter Residential Permit Applications Down 39%

Hard-hit Builders Vow To 'Wait It Out'

October 09, 1991|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff writer

Applications for residential building permits in Carroll declined slightly from the second to the third quarter of 1991 and are down nearly 40 percent from the same period last year.

Applications for residential building permits in July, August and September were 39 percent lower than for the same months in 1990, according to data compiledby the county Bureau of Permits and Inspections.

The numbers are about the same as those for the second quarter ofthis year. In April, May and June, the county logged 185 residentialbuilding applications; in the following three months, the number was180.

The number of permits issued in the third quarter of this year was down 5 percent from the same period last year, the county reported.

The county issued 194 permits in the third quarter of 1991 and 205 in the same period last year.

Robert W. Awalt of Ellicott City is building homes in The Greens in Westminster. In the third quarter, he sold only one home.

"The only thing I know to do is to wait it out," he said.

His models in The Greens are priced at $116,900 and $126,900.

In Ellicott City, where Awalt is building homes priced from $300,000 to $400,000, he said, sales are slightly better.

"The sales pace is slow, but at least we're getting sales," he said, adding that he sold two homes there in September.

In South Carroll, Jeffrey B. Power of Powers Construction Co. in Westminster said he's having some success in two developments, although he continues toentice buyers with special deals.

"I don't feel the market is that strong that you can take away incentives," he said.

At Piney Meadow in Eldersburg, where houses are priced from $130,000, Powers said, he is selling six a month. At Hawk Ridge Farm in Sykesville, where houses are priced from $160,000, he said, he is selling four units a month.

Powers, who's active in the Carroll County chapter of the Home Builders Association of Maryland, said sales began picking up forhim about three months ago.

"Success is spotty," he said.

Denise A. Hayes, president of the Carroll County Association of Realtors and a Realtor with Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. in Westminster saidsales countywide are down.

In the third quarter in Carroll, 309 homes were sold, compared with 380 in the second quarter, Hayes said.

The average price for homes in Carroll in the third quarter was $137,900; in the second quarter, the average price was $130,900, she said.

In September, 71 percent of sales in Carroll were for homes priced below $150,000, Hayes said.

The Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors reported that residential real estate sales in the Baltimore area began to show improvement in September. The number of homes with sales contracts was up 7 percent in September compared to the same month last year.

Other numbers compiled by Carroll County show that the number of residential building permit applications for the first three quarters of this year is 60 percent lower than last year.

Last year at this time, the county had applications for 1,288 residential building permits; this year, it shows 519 applications.

The number of residential permits actually issued for the first three quarters of this year is 34 percent behind last year's number.

This year, the county has issued 539 residential permits; last year, the number was 822.

Applications for building improvements in the third quarter of this year were about even with last year, after a surge in the second quarter in both years, the numbers show.

This year, the county received 524 building improvement applications; last year, the number was 532.

Applications for commercial construction in the third quarter also are about even with last year's numbers, but slightly behind the second quarter of this year.

In the third quarter this year, the county had 75 applications, compared with 76 applicationsin the same period last year and 91 in the second quarter of this year.

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