Alabama homebuilding permits in January up 21.4% from December, up 6.4% year-over-year, but still below pre- housing market crash levels, not expected to greatly improve until housing inventory falls, say experts

LOS ANGELES , April 2, 2012 () – Alabama’s homebuilding industry is improving but is still not where it was before the housing market crashed in 2007, according to local homebuilders and industry executives, reported The Anniston Star on April 2.

In January, 585 new homebuilding permits were issued statewide in Alabama--up 21.4% from the 482 permits issued in December 2011 and up 6.4% from the 550 permits issued in January 2011, according to data from the Alabama Center for Real Estate.

Homebuilding activity would have to grow by about 30% “to get back to a normal market,” based on previous sales figures, said the center's executive director Grayson Glaze, The Anniston Star reported.

The market is still very sluggish, according to Josh Moses, president of the Home Builders Association of Calhoun County, Alabama. For construction to rebound, “a lot of houses already on the market” would have to move first, he said.

Glaze said there needed to be a “balancing act” with housing to prevent overbuilding. “You cannot just simply build for the sake of the economy,” he said.

A slow increase in homebuilding activity is forecast by Moses, although he doesn’t expect it to reach “pre-recession levels by any means,” reported The Anniston Star

Some Alabama builders have seen some improvement in the market but not much, including Sam Almaroad of Almaroad Construction Inc., and Daniel Cofield, owner of Creative Construction.

Remodeling and refurbishing jobs have kept builders busy, though. Almaroad said his company does a lot of renovations, and Moses agreed it was one business area “still doing well,” The Anniston Star reported.

The primary source of this article is The Anniston Star, Anniston, Alabama, on April 2, 2012.

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