Single-family residential permits decreased from 132 valued at $12.9 million in 2011, to 124 valued at $13.1 million in 2012 in the county’s unincorporated areas and Hiram.
Four permits were filed in Dallas in 2012, compared to three in 2011.
However, valuation of construction increased 1.6 percent as average cost increased from $98,166 to $106,245 in the county and Hiram.
Chuck Rann, director of the Paulding County Community Development department, said most of the new construction was concentrated in the northeast quadrant of the county — the Seven Hills and Bentwater areas — with some construction in the Highland Falls and Palisades communities in Hiram.
He said new home construction has all but stopped in some formerly fast-developing areas, such as the county’s west side.
However, Rann said he foresees higher numbers of permits for single-family construction in 2013 based on early permit filings.
“I can definitely see it coming back,” he said.
Rhonda Bowman, president of the Paulding Board of Realtors, said she also foresees permits increasing this year because housing in some price ranges in Paulding could soon show a shortage.
She said, for example, she has seen prices for starter homes almost double in recent months compared to 2011. Builders also have begun to buy some of the estimated 9,000 home lots now on county rolls which were never built on.
“I do think it won’t be that long,” Bowman said. “I think Paulding County is sitting right on the edge.”
Bowman said one factor holding back demand is appraised values in many areas — typically based on sales prices on nearby homes — are being set below list prices. Lenders typically give home loans based on appraised values and buyers must provide the difference out of pocket, she said.
Last year’s numbers were quite a drop from the height of the housing boom in 2005 when more than 3,400 permits for single-family homes were issued in Paulding, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Bowman said she does not foresee numbers returning to the level of 2005 because of a number of factors, including the availability of funding.
Rann said permits likely will be higher in coming years but may never return to the 3,400 level.
“We will get some growth but I don’t think we’ll get back to the heyday,” he said.
Single-family residential permits:
2012: 124 valued at $13.1 million.
2011: 132 valued at $12.9 million.
Sources: Paulding County Community Development
Department, U.S. Census Bureau