In unincorporated Cobb, 396 single-family home permits were issued from Jan. 1 to June 30, 2012
Over that same period this year, they’ve risen to 573.
“We’re heading in the right direction, and it says to me that next year probably ought to be good,” Lee said.
Prior to the Great Recession, the high water mark in unincorporated Cobb was 2007, when the county issued 1,276 building permits.
“The news I think, although from ’12 to ’13 we’re up, and that’s important, the fact that we’re back at 2008 levels is a better indicator,” Lee said. “We’re still down from 2007, so what that says to me is the fact that we’re down to 2008 levels, that the housing is starting to turn around, which further justifies my assumption that we’ve hit bottom with the values of homes, and I would hope things would start to improve.”
The new inventory that comes along with housing permits is what helps keep values up, Lee said.
“So, when new inventory disappears, values tend to drop as it did (during the recession), but it dropped significantly for a lot of reasons, but the fact that housing starts are starting to come back and creating demand and inventory values should follow suit and start to return to higher numbers.”
Acworth Mayor Tommy Allegood said his city has issued 52 permits so far this year, compared to 2012, which only brought in 48 permits for the entire year.
“So for year-to-date we are running at better than a 100 percent increase for permits,” Allegood said.
The mayor said his 23,000-resident city is the fastest growing city in the county because of the quality of life there.
“We’ve built a place where people and business want to come and locate because our great quality of life, and we make it really easy for builders and developers to do business with us,” Allegood said. “Another thing that I think is really, really important is we’re building affordable housing. We’re building housing with really positive price points, so it’s affordable housing, it’s quality of life, it’s all of those places that people want to be.”