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Dave Olson, Published August 07 2013

F-M housing starts see best activity since 2007

FARGO – Home construction in the Fargo-Moorhead area is at its busiest since 2007, according to the Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead, which released its 2013 second-quarter building permit report Wednesday.

From January through June, total permit numbers and structure values exceeded 2012 numbers for the same period, the report stated. Total construction value was more than $293 million so far this year, up $30 million over 2012 numbers.

Overall, housing starts are up 22 percent from the first two quarters of 2012, which was a banner year, the report stated.

The latest numbers bode well for the rest of 2013, said Darrick Guthmiller, the association’s president. Many builders had projects just waiting to start as soon they could get into the ground, he said.

“Existing homes are moving very quickly, and it’s created an additional demand for new housing,” Guthmiller said.

Outlook bright

The report shows that Dilworth, Fargo and West Fargo housing starts increased over the first two quarters of last year, while Moorhead’s numbers stayed mostly steady.

Housing starts in Fargo grew from 172 in the first six months of 2012 to 224 during the first six months of this year, a 30 percent increase.

West Fargo housing starts went from 178 to 210, an 18 percent increase. Dilworth numbers increased from four to 12, a 200 percent jump.

Moorhead housing starts stayed roughly steady at 41, while new commercial starts in the city increased from three to 16.

Guthmiller said that while challenges remain, the outlook for construction in the region is bright.

“The industry still faces some major hurdles in upcoming flood insurance mandates and the long wait for permanent flood protection,” he said.

“But with our strong economy, the housing needs are prevalent and that’s a good thing, because we are putting people to work and creating jobs.”

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Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555