Columbia home buyers are renovating instead of buying new homes
COLUMBIA - Columbia has experienced a decline in new residential construction this year. One realtor said it could be because home buyers are purchasing older homes and renovating them instead.
Data from the Columbia Board of Realtors’ shows that, within the first eight months of 2017, 223 new single-family homes were built. Within the same time period last year, there were only 180.
Doug Muzzy, president of the Home Builders Association of Columbia said the drop in construction could also be, in part, because of lumber and steel tariffs, higher interest rates, and the increasing cost of connecting to city services, all of which makes new homes more expensive.
Realtor Sean Moore said such expenses are definitely a factor.
“We're always trying to get the builders that we represent to build at a lower price range, but they refuse to because the cost of land, the cost of materials, and the profit margins in those lower ranges are so tight they don't want to go to that product even though that's where the demand is,” Moore said.
The number of residential building permits in the city have increased, but so have permits for renovating and repairing older houses.
Muzzy said, all in all, the state of Columbia's housing market is "healthy."