Issuance of building permits down

June 13, 1993|By Frank Lynch | Frank Lynch,Staff Writer

Although a late spring buying season stimulated the rea estate market, the number of building permits issued for Harford County homes continued to drop.

County officials issued 124 permits last month for the construction of single homes, townhouses, condominiums, apartments and mobile homes. That is 116 fewer than in May 1992.

The total of 608 for the year to date represents a drop of 30 percent from the 1992 figure of 863 and a 40 percent dip from the 997 permits issued as of May 1991.

There is no significant change in the number of commercial and industrial building permits issued. The 42 issued so far this year is just two fewer than had been issued at the same time in 1992. It is 33 percent lower that the 63 issued through May 1991.

Real estate sales are more encouraging.

Although housing settlements in county dropped 19 percent in May, there are definite signs of a reversal in the year-to-date statistics, said an official with the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors.

"The increase in the pending unit figure indicates that a late spring buying season has set in," said Andrew J. A. Chriss, president of the GBBR.

Pending units, those which are under sales contracts, rose 45 percent in Harford and 21 percent in the metropolitan area over May 1992. There are 224 units awaiting settlement compared to 154 at the same time last year, while the metro area lists 1,728 units pending at the end of May 1993 compared to 1,419 in 1992.

The metropolitan area showed a 15 percent decline in settled units with 1,408 last month compared to 1,672 in May 1992. Harford settled 169 units last month compared to 209 in May 1992.

The figures do not include Anne Arundel County, which is not part of the GBBA.

Year-to-date figures indicate Harford has suffered the lowest decline in settled units at 1 percent, with 745 settled in 1993 compared to 760 at the same last year. Baltimore County suffered the greatest decline in settled units to date at 15 percent.

Despite a 19 percent drop in Harford's dollar volume of settled house sales in May 1993 compared to the same period last year, the average dollar sale in the county remained virtually unchanged.

Last month, the average sale price of a Harford home was $127,107. Last May that figure was $127,039.

In the region, the average price of a home showed a 3 percent decrease from May 1992 to May 1993 -- $122,038 from $126,173.

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