There were 133 building permits pulled for single-family houses in Cobb and its six cities this October, a dramatic increase over the same month one year ago, when just 31 permits were issued.
Since Jan. 1, Cobb and its cities have issued 1,006 such permits. By this point in 2011, there were 663 permits issued.
In October, unincorporated Cobb reported 82 permits issued, with multiple subdivisions underway in east Cobb.
Smyrna led the cities, issuing 34 permits. Lennar Homes pulled 14 permits in Smyrna in October.
“Inventory levels are low in all the areas we are building,” said Ginny Bryant, Lennar’s sales director. “The demand for new homes is outpacing the supply for new homes in great locations with good schools.”
Bryant also quoted a recent Atlanta area research by Metro Study that showed a 50.3 percent increase in housing starts, and new-house inventory depleted in many parts of Atlanta, down 82 percent from five years ago.
The City of Powder Springs issued 10 permits, all to Atlanta-based Peachtree Communities for The Vineyards at New Macland subdivision.
The City of Marietta issued six permits, and the City of Kennesaw issued one. Austell and Acworth reported zero permits.
Overall, spring and summer months this year saw strong improvement over 2011 for new house construction in Cobb, but no single month matched October’s number. August, which had 116 permits, was the closest.
Cobb’s numbers are indicative of the metro Atlanta market as a whole. The Atlanta Real Estate Market Report statistics for October 2012 show housing inventory is down 39 percent from September 2011.
Brenda Beshara, associate broker with Keller Williams Realty Atlanta North, said that across the metro area, third-quarter reports show home sales are up 11.2 percent this year compared to 2011, and are up 26.5 percent over 2010.
“These housing changes are starting to trickle down to new construction in some areas,” Beshara said. “New construction appears to be faring best in areas where a seller’s market or transitional market are beginning to be evident, due to increase home sales and lack of inventory. These include areas with higher rated schools and other popular, sought-after locations.”
She added that the third quarter 2012 housing statistics in metro Atlanta showed an increase of home sales in all price points except the under $100,000 segment, where three out of four sales are still distressed.
Although spring and summer months are universally considered the strongest months for home buying, Lennar’s Bryant said low costs are contributing to current home sales.
“The interest rates are so low, and people realize the window of opportunity to take advantage of the record low interest rates, combined with the low housing cost, is closing quickly,” Bryant said. “They realize that prices will inevitably increase since there is a high demand.”