Murfreesboro Single-Family Permits rise in 2014 amid economic recovery

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Murfreesboro single-family permits rose in 2014, a reflection of continued regional recovery in housing. City officials expect the trend to continue in 2015.

"It appears the strong demand for new homes in Murfreesboro, though not at the brisk pace prior to the recession, is on a strong growth trajectory," said Interim City Planning Director Gary Whitaker. "It also appears that Murfreesboro will continue to struggle with a shortage of building lots as the number of lots available for construction is at a 20-year low."

Final figures for 2014 released by the Murfreesboro Building & Codes Department indicate permitting for single-family detached units increased by 58 units in 2014 to 647 units compared to 589 units in 2013. The Building & Codes Department issued an average of 49.1 single-family permits per month in 2013 compared to an average 53.9 per month in 2014. A total of 451 units were permitted in 2012.

The increase in single-family building permits resumes the upward trend in growth seen in 2013. In Murfreesboro, permits trended higher during the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013 despite frigid weather that dampened home building activity in much of the nation. One factor impacting the increase in permits in the spring of this year was a code-induced rush for permits prior to the new fee structure. It was reflected in a higher than average increase in permits from 55 in April 2013 to 123 in April 2014. April was followed by a dip in May from 74 in 2013 to just 26 this year. There was another slight dip in June and a larger decrease in August before permits edged higher.

A national survey of home builder sentiment fell slightly in December 2014 to 57 but the chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) indicated that builders are expected to remain confident in 2015. A sentiment above 50 is considered positive.

Increasing Multi-family Unit permits reflect a growing trend in satisfying the demand of the younger millennial generation. In 2014, Multi-family units have jumped from 889 in 2013 to 913 in 2014. In 2013, Multi-family Units permitted more than doubled to 889 units from 464 units in 2012.

A tight supply of available lots and new homes has been boosting residential development in Murfreesboro. Lots Available for Construction in Murfreesboro dipped from 1,254 in 2012 to
984 in 2013 and the inventory of available lots in 2014 is only around 826. That is far lower than the peak of 1,799 available lots in 2006.

Commercial development in Murfreesboro reflects higher growth in small business development in recent years. Both Commercial Permits and Site Plans have been trending higher. New Commercial permits continued to keep pace with a growing trend line, increasing from 17 in 2012 to 26 in 2013 and 24 in 2014.

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