New housing market continues a slow recovery in Cobb
by Sheri Kell
business@mdjonline.com
December 19, 2012 12:19 AM | 3444 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Steve Palm, president of Smart Numbers LLC, speaks about the state of the housing market to a crowded ballroom during the Housing Market Summit at the Cobb Galleria Centre last week. In Cobb, 71 total permits for new construction starts in November have been issued, which is nearly double over the same month in 2011.
Steve Palm, president of Smart Numbers LLC, speaks about the state of the housing market to a crowded ballroom during the Housing Market Summit at the Cobb Galleria Centre last week. In Cobb, 71 total permits for new construction starts in November have been issued, which is nearly double over the same month in 2011.
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MARIETTA — New-construction starts for single-family housing in Cobb and its six cities remained positive for the month of November with 71 total permits issued — nearly double over the same month in 2011.

As in months prior, new construction starts were concentrated in the same areas. Unincorporated Cobb saw 31 permits issued, and the city of Smyrna led the cities with 19 permits. Acworth had 12 permits pulled, all by local developer Kerley Family Homes.

The city of Powder Springs issued five permits to Peachtree Communities for homes in the Vineyards at New Macland subdivision. In Kennesaw, four permits were issued, including three by Kerley Family Homes and one by FKA RJK Homes of Atlanta. The cities of Marietta and Austell had no new permits.

Year-to-date, the county has seen 1,077 permits issued, up from 700 as of November 2011.

Steve Palm, president of Marietta-based residential real estate forecaster Smart Numbers, said inventory of single family homes in the 23-county metro region is at its lowest since record-keeping began. Supply is now at three months’ worth, he said, compared to normal inventory of seven months.

He also noted that for the first time since 2008, in the month of October, there were more permits issued than closings. And, Palm, who spoke at a housing market summit at the Cobb Galleria Centre last week, said the construction is concentrated in five counties: Cobb, Gwinnett, Fulton, Cherokee and Forsyth.

He told conference attendees that his forecast is “pessimistically optimistic.”

“A lot of the big national builders have cash reserves, but the little ones are still having trouble getting financing,” Palm said.

Eric Price, chief operating officer of Marietta-based Traton Homes, said there is tremendous opportunity for builders that can purchase and develop small tracts of land.

“One of the biggest challenges facing new home construction is that the majority of developed lots in the highly desirable areas that had been available through banks and/or brokers for the past several years have been bought up at this point,” Price said.
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