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Area housing construction has best start since 2005

FARGO - Metro-area building permit numbers for the first half of 2015 show new housing activity is off to its fastest start since 2005, a report released Tuesday by the Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead shows.

Clay Dietrich, president of the Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead, talks Tuesday about building permit numbers for the first half of 2015 in the metro areas. Dave Olson/The Forum
Clay Dietrich, president of the Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead, talks Tuesday about building permit numbers for the first half of 2015 in the metro areas. Dave Olson/The Forum

FARGO – Metro-area building permit numbers for the first half of 2015 show new housing activity is off to its fastest start since 2005, a report released Tuesday by the Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead shows.

The 611 permits issued for all housing categories through the first six months of 2015 reflect a 22 percent increase over the 500 housing permits issued during the same period last year, the report stated.

Some of the credit goes to the weather, which has been gentle for much of the building season, said Clay Dietrich of Dietrich Homes Inc., who is also president of the builders association.

Dietrich said Moorhead and Dilworth, in particular, "are having a fantastic year" and appear to be satisfying pent-up demand.

Moorhead, with 129 housing-related permits issued so far this year, is enjoying its strongest new-housing start since 2007, he said.

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Construction of twin homes is strong in Moorhead, with permit numbers in that category up 70 percent compared to the same period last year, Dietrich said.

As he's done in the past when releasing permit reports, Dietrich made a pitch for the proposed $1.8 billion Fargo-Moorhead Diversion, saying permanent flood protection is vital to the area's economy.

He said worries over flooding tend to ebb the longer the area goes without another major flood, but he warned that one need only look at the experience of Grand Forks, N.D., and the devastating flood of 1997 to understand how deeply such events can harm a community's economy.

"Grand Forks just got back last year to the level they were at in '97 when the flood hit," Dietrich said. "That's 18 years."

Here's a look at some other numbers from the builders association's report on building permit activity in the metro area for the first six months of the year:

• Construction permits issued across the metro area in all categories in the first half of 2015-2,216-were up 6 percent compared to first half of 2014. The total value of those permits-$416.5 million-was down 34 percent compared to the same period last year.

• Dilworth issued 17 housing construction permits in the first half of this year compared to five in the first half of 2014. The value of housing permits issued in Dilworth through the second quarter of this year total $4.8 million, compared to $1.3 million for the same period last year.

• Fargo saw a 20 percent jump in the number of housing permits issued in the first half of the year compared to the same period last year, going from 173 to 208.

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• In Moorhead, the number of permits issued for single-family homes-85-marked a return to mid-2000 levels.

• The number of residential remodeling permits issued in West Fargo-231-reflected a 40 percent increase over the same period last year, when 165 remodeling permits were issued.

Related Topics: MOORHEAD
I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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