AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The homebuilder confidence rating has dropped for the third straight month, but there are pockets of new homes being built all around the Valley. It’s a sign that homebuilding is booming locally.
The housing market has shown signs of picking up and getting stronger. One of the biggest strengths locally is building new homes.
There aren’t very many of those available. The homes in the existing market are older.
“People look at those houses and think, ‘Do I want to put $50,000 into those or do I want to buy a new one and get what I want?'” said Kerry Cross, with Joe Koch Construction.
The prime market is between $200,000 and $250,000 with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. You can pick the layout and even the finishes.
“We’ve already started two houses this month. We’ve got three ready to start next month and we’ve got some to start in May, so every month it’s just getting better and better, and we haven’t seen that in ten years,” Cross said.
New homebuilding slowed down after the financial meltdown in 2008. Joe Koch went from constructing 40 homes a year to just two. This year, the company is ready to build the most it has since 2007.
“For this year, it looks very positive,” Cross said. “We don’t usually get this much in March and, actually, most of it we got in January and February but are only able to start in March because of the weather. We don’t usually have that kind of activity that early and we do this year.”
Interest rates could rise, but Cross believes that fear is also what’s driving people to build now. The return of the neighborhood development could be right around the corner.
“Now for the first time — especially in Austintown — in about 15 years, we’re actually going to have a development that has 100 lots that I think is going to be very desirable for people,” Cross said.
She also said that every open house she holds for a model home is busy.