Last updated: June 01. 2013 7:02AM -
James Howell
Staff Writer
jhowell@heartlandpublications.com



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After four years of gradual decreases in the number of building permits issued, Ashe County has already had more building permits issued in 2012 than in 2011.


According to Jeff Cornett from the building inspection office, a total of 69 building permits for new, single-family houses were issued in 2011. The 2012 total already surpasses that with 74 permits issued, and that figure isn’t counting the permits that will be issued in November and December.


“This is definitely a sign things are picking back up,” said Cornett. He also said the number of building permits issued has a “significant” relationship to the strength of the economy.


According to Cornett, this area is usually the last to be impacted after a recession, but also the last to bounce back. In Charlotte, building permits began decreasing in late 2006, a sign of things to come; but Ashe County didn’t see the sting of the 2006 recession until 2008, the first year of a four-year stretch of a decrease in building permits issued.


During that four-year stretch from 2008 through 2011, the totals of permits issued have gradually decreased every year until the rebound in 2012. The highest amount of permits issued per year in recent history was 2007’s total of 367 permits for new, single-family homes.


Also, Cornett said signs indicate this growth will continue in 2013.


“Contractors have been giving more estimates and receiving more phone calls, and more building permits have been issued in larger markets like Charlotte,” said Cornett. He also said the market in Charlotte has seen improvements for the last few years, another indicator more building permits will be issued for Ashe County moving forward.


In addition to an increase in building permits issued for single family houses, commercial building permits have also increased.


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