INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 08, 2013, 08:49 AM

Home building on brisk pace in Fargo, Sioux Falls

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Home-building is on a brisk pace in the two largest cities in the Dakotas as the economy improves.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Home-building is on a brisk pace in the two largest cities in the Dakotas as the economy improves.

Home construction in Fargo, N.D., and neighboring Moorhead, Minn., is at its busiest since 2007. A report from the local Home Builders Association shows the total value of construction in the metro area in the first six months of the year at more than $293 million, up $30 million over the year, according to The Forum newspaper.

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

The numbers bode well for the rest of 2013, association President Darrick Guthmiller said.

"Existing homes are moving very quickly, and it's created an additional demand for new housing," he said.

"The industry still faces some major hurdles in upcoming flood insurance mandates and the long wait for permanent flood protection," he said, referring to a planned $2 billion diversion of the Red River around the metro area that is awaiting congressional approval and funding. "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."

In Sioux Falls, S.D., both housing and commercial projects are on a record pace, the Argus Leader newspaper reported.

The city issued a record $376.6 million in permits through July. About $160 million of that is for commercial projects, driven largely by a $117 million events center under construction, but the city also has a strong housing market this year, with a record 1,260 residential permits issued.

"I've talked to contractors in this business for 40 years who have never seen it this busy," said Brian Berg, co-owner of N-Drywall and Construction in Sioux Falls.

Tags: