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Home building, housing market continues at a steady pace

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While population growth here shows steady, sustained increases, the county's housing market also has chugged along at an impressive pace.

A brief search online of Collin County housing activity will bring back news stories of a hot market, waiting lines to grab new lots in upcoming developments, but we found a few sources that attest to the coverage.

Land record filings in our County Clerk's offices continue to flow in at an average of more than 170,000 a year since 2000. These include records with connections to a plot of land, from deeds to tax liens. But filings are up 26% from 2000-2016.

In 2016, The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M logged more than 8,000 new single family home permits issue throughout the county, with an average value of more than $319,000 each. Those permits almost doubled from 2010, a 97-percent increase. The average value of the homes rose by 18 percent in those six years.

In home sales, the center's tracking showed an average price of a single family home in March 2017 at more than $383,500, up 14-percent from March the previous year.

Between 2011 and 2016, annual single family home sales rose 52 percent with close to 16,000 transactions, according to the center's data. However, annual home sales total have been running steadily at 15,000-plus transactions for the last three years. And in the first four months of 2017 alone, home sales volume generated more than $1.7 billion, a 19-percent jump from the first four months of 2016. Total sales for 2016 came to more than $5.4 billion.

As of this writing, the center's tracking on home sales in the last 12 months shows an available inventory of 2.3 months in Collin County, about a third of what it was in 2011. The months' supply indicates how long the current for sale inventory would last given the current sales rate if no additional new houses were built.

At the U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 to 2015 (the latest data available) figures show that the stock of available housing units rose about 2 percent each year. (Note: the Bureau basically counts standing housing structures, then breaks them down into detached and multi-unit buildings. About 7 out of 10 housing units in the county are classified as "1-unit, detached.")

Compare those figures to the nation's housing stock, with growth rate of 0.7 percent last year --roughly half of what it was in 2007. Collin County's growth is almost triple that rate.

So far, the boom period for housing in Collin County came between 2000 and 2009, as one out of three existing housing units here -- single and multi-family -- were built. But building permit data from 2016 shows Collin County is fast approaching a climb back to permit activity that approaches 2000 levels after taking a serious plummet from a high of 12,500 permits in 2005 down to 3,300 permits by the end of 2009.

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