Cobb still sees overall uptick in building permits
by Nikki Wiley
October 26, 2013 12:56 AM | 1537 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Residential building in Cobb County is still on the rise with the unincorporated portion of the county and the city of Marietta leading the way.

Cobb County issued 85 building permits in September, down from the 114 that were given the month before. Marietta follows in second with 26 permits in September, up from seven last month.

So far in 2013, 1,270 permits have been issued in Cobb. That’s more than the 873 issued at this point last year.

A total of 137 permits were issued in September.

Acworth gave 11 permits, Smyrna had 10 and Powder Springs issued five. The cities of Austell and Kennesaw had no permits.

The strong demand for new housing isn’t likely to fade anytime soon, said Tammy Amsler, a Realtor with Keller Williams Realtor Signature Partners who lives in west Cobb.

“To me, it’s still limited, new construction,” Amsler said. “There is some out there, but it hasn’t reached the volume that it was a few years ago to choose from.”

The Great Recession caused residential building to come to a virtual standstill, with many builders going out of business and banks mailing out foreclosure notices as fast as they could print them. That caused prices to plummet up to 35 percent or more in many neighborhoods across metro Atlanta.

Slowly, foreclosures have returned to more normal levels and buyers started returning to the market in January and February of this year.

Buyers are attracted to Cobb, Amsler said, because its schools are seen as high quality and home prices are reasonable while property taxes are relatively low.

Regionally, sales of single-family homes decreased 2.8 percent from September 2012 compared to September of this year. Home sales were down from 3,625 in metro Atlanta to 3,522, according to the Atlanta Board of Realtors.

Homes sales decreased 17.5 percent month-over-month down from 4,268 in August of this year.

The median sales price in metro Atlanta was $189,000. That’s an increase of 35 percent from the median price of $140,000 in September 2012.

Of the 26 residential building permits issued in Marietta, 14 of those were to Traton Homes, which is constructing a 45-home development on an 8-acre site, called Montgomery Park, near the intersection of Cherokee and Montgomery streets in Marietta.

Homes will be in the $300,000 to $350,000 range.

The city’s location and school system keeps bringing in the buyers, said Chris Poston, senior vice president of the Marietta-based company.

Commuters like Marietta’s proximity to downtown Atlanta, Poston said.

“We love the live, work, play aspect of being able to use the Square and just being able to enjoy all the activities,” said Poston, a Marietta native.

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