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F-M building permit values set record

FARGO - The total value of all building permits issued in the Fargo-Moorhead area in the first three months of the year set a first-quarter record at about $93.6 million, according to numbers released Wednesday by the Home Builders Association of...

Carlita Dietz
Carlita Dietz, president of the Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead, shares information Wednesday about area building permit numbers. Dave Olson / The Forum

FARGO - The total value of all building permits issued in the Fargo-Moorhead area in the first three months of the year set a first-quarter record at about $93.6 million, according to numbers released Wednesday by the Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead.

That figure includes building permits for single-family, multifamily, commercial, remodeling and public projects.

"We're seeing lots of activity across all the sectors," said Carlita Dietz, president of the association.

She said housing construction is off to a strong start and on pace with last year's activity, though compared to 2012's extremely strong start, the picture this spring appears average.

Dietz said the deep freeze of this past winter led to a delay in new construction, but she added that the absence of a flood has builders in high spirits.

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The first-quarter building permit report showed a slight bump in total housing starts compared to 2013, increasing from 55 to 56.

Total housing valuation increased from about $12.8 million last year to $13.5 million in the first three months of the year, an increase of about 5 percent.

Overall, single-family housing starts in the metro area fell about 31 percent from 55 to 38. However, twinhome construction and row house permits totaled 18 units, compared to zero for the first quarter of 2013.

Total housing starts in Moorhead went from one in the first quarter of 2013 to eight single-family permits this year.

West Fargo housing starts dropped from 32 in the first quarter of 2013 to 21 this year.

Fargo housing starts increased from 22 in the first quarter of last year to 27 this year.

Dilworth has had no housing construction activity so far this year, which Dietz said is typical for the first quarter.

"People are still very interested in building," Dietz said. "Interest rates are still low, home values are steady and - in some pockets - increasing. Buying a home is still a great investment," she added.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter

Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

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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