Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Paris Goodnight
Salisbury Post
The value of building permits issued in Rowan County reached an all-time high since the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce started compiling the quarterly figures.
The average sale price for homes also reached a peak at $152,958.
The the Rowan County Inspections Office issued 440 building permits worth $65.5 million during the quarter ending March 31. That’s up from $43.5 million in the final quarter of 2006.
The number of permits issued in the first quarter remained in line with other previous quarters, but the value jumped significantly.
Jeff Smith of ERA Glover Realty, which sponsors the chamber’s economic report, said Thursday, “Our market has definitely turned from a buyer’s market. That bodes well for sellers.”
He noted that inventories the Salisbury Board of Realtors follows are down from a high of about 750 houses on the market to about 600 now. As the inventory goes down, the prices go up since buyers don’t have as many options.
Lisa Steele, office assistant in the county Building Inspections Office who compiles monthly reports, said, “People are putting up stuff everywhere, anywhere there’s an empty lot.”
Despite troubles in housing markets in other locations around the nation, she noted that building continued to boom in residential and commercial projects.
“It’s the spillover from Charlotte and Concord. They’ve got nowhere else to go,” Steele said.
Bob Wright, president of the Chamber of Commerce, said the numbers look very stable in other categories measured, but the value of the permits issued is a good sign.
“Things could be better, but they could be a lot worse,” he said.
He said the figures didn’t really surprise him, taking inflation into account.
Eric Wood, manager with Pilot Development, said he’s in the midst of numerous projects in Rowan County, with “numbers going way up, especially in the southern part of the county.”
He said his business is banking on continued growth, not only around Kannapolis but coming east from Mooresville. “That’s what we predict,” he said.
But ERA Glover’s Smith noted that as good as the first quarter numbers are, second quarter figures are probably going to be lower.
“Overall activity is not as strong,” he said.
Contact Paris Goodnight at 704-797-4255 or pgoodnight@