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WDAY: The News Leader

Published February 02, 2012, 06:49 PM

Metro housing starts down as values rise

Fargo-Moorhead (WDAY TV) - Concerns over permanent flood protection are having an impact on some segments of home construction in the Metro area. The Homebuilder's Association came out with its final 2011 building permit numbers and it reveals a fascinating trend in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Concerns over permanent flood protection are having an impact on some segments of home construction in the Metro area. The Homebuilder's Association came out with its final 2011 building permit numbers and it reveals a fascinating trend in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

While West Fargo continues to see an increase in housing starts, the rest of the metro fell - down 14%. Meanwhile the value of all construction went up $37 million, an 11% increase from last year.

In a blanket of fog, homebuilders off Veteran's Boulevard continued to pound nails and get roof tops on. It looked like a promotion for Tyvek, a reflection of the growth in the south of 94 in West Fargo.

Terry Becker – HBA President: “It boils down to this, housing creates jobs, and growth is good for all.”

With financing down to a trickle for town homes, the construction activity centers on higher end homes. And the concern remains this, consumers here in the metro area don't want to buy and build, until they know what will happen to the river.

Terry Becker: “It is time to act swiftly and provide permanent flood protection that allows our community to grow and provide jobs.”

So why is it that so many places across the country cities sit saddled with blocks of bankrupt homes, but Fargo continues to build?

Tyrone Leslie – Heritage Homes: “I believe while we are on the path of permanent flood protection you will see this area boom like it should.”

After a five year decline, developers are again putting up more apartments; 600 units right now. Meeting the needs of those who are delaying a decision to buy a home now or rent.

The National Association of Home Builders has named Fargo to its special index of metro areas showing improvement in housing permits and home prices for six straight months.

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