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12/28/2017 New construction here at highest level since ‘02
New housing building permits jumped by 22 percent in 2017 over 2016 with total new permits for all building and permits hitting a high of 437, a number not seen since 2002. The news further indicates that the economy in Custer County is finally catching up to the rest of the growth in Custer County. The numbers compiled by the Custer County department of Zoning and Planning shows that 95 permits for new dwellings were issued in 2017, a high that comes in second to the height of the tech stock boom in 2002 when 134 new permits were issued. “It has been busy around here, really busy,” commented Building and Zoning Director Jackie Hobby. “We have really seen a lot of new homes and additions being requested by buyers, with a lot more interest in 2018.” The economy in Custer County is heavily based on real estate and new home construction which provides the bulk of non-government jobs in the county. Contractors are reporting that many are booked for the next several years and during the summer months there is shortage of subcontractors such as electricians, plumbers, and labor needed to build the nearly 100 new homes. According to national data, there are roughly 4,000 total livable structures in Custer County. The new homes represent a yearly increase in home inventory of around two percent per year. While the demand for existing homes in the $300,000 and below range has continued, new home building on a piece of vacant land can be built at around the same range. The only problem is the labor force needed for that many structures. Local First State Bank President, Wendy Rusk, stated that the bank is very busy with new construction loans. Having a local bank is key for Custer County as new money supply produced by loans from First State Bank circulates longer in the local community. Unlike existing real estate purchases, where real estate agents say younger people are buying homes, new home construction is generally undertaken by retirees or second homeowners building dream and vacation homes, immigrating from across the United States. – Jordan Hedberg