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Published May 06 2010

F-M homebuilding numbers rise

Housing construction in metropolitan Fargo-Moorhead during the first quarter of 2010 was the highest recorded since 2006, with 77 permits issued.

That’s up considerably from only three permits issued in the first quarter of 2008, according to a report released Wednesday by the Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead.

West Fargo issued the highest number of first-quarter 2010 housing permits at 25, followed by Fargo with 24, Moorhead with 11 and Dilworth with two.

In the first quarter of 2006, the four communities issued 81 building permits for new housing construction.

“Those who were around for the flooding last year know just how thankful we are for what was accomplished this spring,” said Terry Becker, president of the Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead.

“Manageable flooding, incredible weather and the resilient nature of the people of the Red River Valley are the reasons the industry was able to rebound,” Becker said.

First-quarter 2010 valuation on permits for new housing totaled $4.7 million in Fargo, $4.1 million in West Fargo, $3.1 million in Moorhead and $335,000 in Dilworth.

Permits issued for all types of construction totaled $44.1 million in the four communities during the first three months of this year. That compares to $86.3 million in 2006 and up slightly over the $43.4 million in permits issued in 2009.

Most permits issued in the first quarter of 2009 were for commercial and public projects.

The National Association of Home Builders also reported an uptick in building and hailed North Dakota as a bright spot at its national board of directors meeting last month.

“After the worst downturn in as long as records have been kept, housing markets seem to have turned the corner,” said Robert Denk, NAHB assistant vice president for forecasting and analysis.

“North Dakota will be among the top U.S. housing markets in this recovery process, returning to more normal conditions well ahead of national trends,” Denk said.

Readers can reach Forum Business Editor Craig McEwen at (701) 241-5502