New Home Construction and Sales Up; County Officials Point to Recovery

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Right on the heels of this morning's announcement from the U.S. Commerce Department that nationwide housing starts rose 6.9 percent in June, the highest rate since October 2008, Ada County officials report today that building permit activity is on the uptick, "signifying that economic recovery is taking place."

Statistics revealed that Ada County and each of its six cities counted 1,076 permits for single-family dwellings in the first six months of 2012, a 78 percent increase over the same period in 2011.

According to the Ada County Assessor's Office, the median sales price bumped up 13.2 percent and the number of homes purchased countywide increased by 9.4 percent thus far this year.

“Signs are pointing to market improvement,” said Tim Tallman, Ada County chief deputy assessor. “Property values were on the decline for the past several years, but now that we are seeing a significant increase in activity, hopefully, we will see property values follow.”

Meg Leatherman, director of Ada County Development Services, said new homes instantly create construction jobs, as well as a multitude of related employment opportunities.

"These are good signs that our local economy and housing market are starting to recover from the recession," she said.