Smyrna issued 22 building permits, up from 20 reported in July. That number is a portion of the 151 total new home permits that were issued throughout Cobb County in August, up from 141 in July and 116 in August 2012.
So far this year there have been 1,133 permits issued in Cobb, up from 784 issued during the first eight months of 2012.
Powder Springs issued no permits, followed by Acworth with 1, Austell, 3; Kennesaw, 4; and Marietta, 7. The largest single chunk of permits, 114, was issued for homes in unincorporated Cobb.
Eric Price, the chief operating officer with Marietta-based Traton Homes, said the 44-year-old company has developed many properties in the Smyrna area because of good schools, the proximity to downtown Atlanta and major interstates and Cobb having a lower tax rate than surrounding counties.
“It’s just a great area,” he said.
Traton’s homes, which are between 2,200-square feet in size for townhomes and 3,000-square feet for traditional homes, cost between $225,000 and $500,000.
The types of clients they serve range as well.
“We are seeing a combination of young professional couples, single-home dwellers, all the way up to families with young children and empty nesters,” he said.
Price said Traton experienced a severe downturn during the recession, but unlike many builders it was able to stay in business.
“We fortunately came through the recession, and there was a long down time, but we’ve made it through there and what we’re doing now is ramping up our business because demand is up and there’s a lot more opportunities,” he said.
Courtney Newton, president-elect for the Cobb Association of Realtors who also lives in Marietta and owns Keller Williams Realty Citywide in Smyrna, agreed with Price about the sudden turn in the market.
She also attributes Smyrna’s growing popularity to it being a “fun” city.
“They offer a lot of stuff and try to attract the young families that are building their families,” she said.
It’s not always been seen that way, though.
Challenges in the past include keeping younger people in the area because in many cases they have uprooted their families to move to east Cobb because of better-performing schools.
“What’s changing is that the city of Smyrna and Cobb are getting ahold of the school system,” she said. “So, people are saying they don’t have to go anywhere.”