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Housing starts up by 82%

Showing strong signs of recovery, housing starts shot up by 82 percent and new commercial work rose 42 percent in 2015 over the previous year.

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Contractors pulled permits for 616 residential units last year, up from 339 units in 2014, the Henderson County Inspections Department said. The county also issued 71 permits for new commercial work, up from 50 in 2014.
The county’s building industry also recorded gains in commercial remodeling, up 11 percent. The only drops came in mobile homes, down 7 percent, to 133 from 143 in 2014; and residential remodeling, which fell 8.5 percent.
The value of new construction overall rose by 41.6 percent, to $169.4 million from $109.6 million in 2014. The reported value of new houses and apartments, at $111.3 million, was up 35 percent, while new commercial buildings, valued at $58 million, rose 57 percent.
“For me one of the big stories this year was the 81 percent increase in residential units,” said John Mitchell, the director of Business and Community Development for Henderson County. Both the 2014 and 2015 numbers included large apartment complexes.
“A lot of those residential units this year are some of the big multi-family development that have gone in in Fletcher,” he said. “We have a 42 percent jump in new commercial. That’s a good indicator of a good year.”
On the commercial side, the new construction number in 2015 included the $30 million Health Sciences Center on the Pardee Hospital campus while the 2014 number included some building at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
The overall construction was stronger in the first half of 2015 than the second half, perhaps because of the Health Sciences building, which broke ground in March. The total new construction value was $107 million through June 30. It was $61.5 million from July 1 through Dec. 31.
The county collected $1.2 million in inspection fees in 2015, up from $899,384 in 2014, a 37 percent gain.