Cherokee County is seeing an upswing in building permits issued compared to 2013, said Ana Silbernagel, Cherokee’s director of Development Services.
In June, 329 permits were issued, an increase of 58 permits compared to May. Out of the 259 residential permits issued, 94 of those permits were for new single-family houses, Silbernagel said.
“We have seen a large increase in the single-family residential area as well as new businesses and expansions of established businesses due to increase of job orders and not enough capacity to fulfill them,” Silbernagel said.
Cherokee County Director of Building Inspections Gary Caviness said the number of single-family residential permits issued has risen steadily since 2011.
The county’s population could be a factor; it has grown from 214,346 residents in 2010 to an estimated 226,002 residents for 2014, according to U.S. Census figures. Housing permit data indicates 2,996 homes have been built in the same time period.
“I predict that as long as we have low interest rates available, then we will continue to have healthy growth. We have to keep in mind that the huge increase of activity that we have seen is in part to the bargain prices many developers were able to get on lots that had given back to the lenders,” Caviness said. “We have seen many of the abandoned subdivisions from the 2008 time period bought up at these prices and the inventory for those bargain lots is dwindling quickly.”
The commercial permits are also accumulating, a sign that seems to indicate businesses want to invest in Cherokee County. Last month, 67 permits were issued for commercial projects, compared to 48 in May. The overall commercial projects value for June was $9.2 million, data from the county showed.
Silbernagel said the biggest permitted commercial project was the Autumn Leaves assisted living facility in Woodstock. The estimated value of the project is $7.5 million, which includes alterations, renovations and permits.
Compared to last year, commercial valuation is down. However, Silbernagel said the large projects such as Inalfa and furniture store Badcock influenced the permit numbers last year, totaling a commercial price of $19.4 million overall.
From January to June, the county issued 1,630 permits and Silbernagel anticipates more growth to come. She said as the economy improves, the county can expect to see more development begin near the southwest corner of Cherokee along Ga. Highway 92 and going north toward Woodstock.
Woodstock Building Official Duane Helton said the city has issued 176 permits, and 171 of those are residential.
“Our residential numbers are very consistent from 2013 to 2014. Up to this point, looking at them on a quarterly basis, we are ahead of where we were in 2013,” Helton said. “I anticipate that our new commercial projects will exceed our 2013 total, due to the development and construction around the new Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta.”
Last year, Woodstock issued 301 residential and six commercial permits. So far in 2014, the city of Canton has issued 230 building permits, according to Ken Patton, the city’s community development director.
Since January, the city has not issued any new construction commercial permits, but 39 permits were issued for tenant finish or renovations.
“We’ve seen an increase in permits over the last year. We’ve already issued 140 new construction residential permits and 51 permits for home renovations,” Patton said.
Caviness said he predicts, as the residential lot prices increase, the house prices will increase, leveling off the future growth, but he expects it to continue on a steady pace as the economy continues to stabilize.