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March: Homebuilding comes in like a lion

CHARLOTTE — New home starts in Mecklenburg County for 2013 continued their surge in March, as did new home prices.

As of March 31, the county had issued 834 building permits for the benchmark detached single-family home. That’s up nearly 33 percent over the first three months of last year, according to an analysis of county records.

And the value of the 2013 permits is up even more, to nearly $136 million, almost 39 percent over the end of March 2012 total of nearly $98 million.

The newest permit count puts Mecklenburg homebuilders on pace to build more than 3,300 homes by the end of December, which would make 2013 the best year for new homes in the county since 2007.

With the latest encouraging figures coming on top of 2012’s total of 2,752 permits — which was on par with 2008’s — homebuilding appears to be on a recovery trajectory from 2009’s bottom of 1,897 permits.

Builders and analysts, however, have warned that a lack of desirable lots in the county, and of developable land, could put a sudden halt to the burgeoning upswing.



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