Permits for single-family, detached houses inside the city of Douglasville increased from six valued at $1.7 million in the first quarter of 2012, to 13 valued at $4.4 million in the first three months of this year.
City Development Service Director Jeff Noles said the numbers do not mean the Douglasville housing industry has returned to the vibrancy seen locally and nationwide before 2007.
“It’s promising,” he said. “I wouldn’t call it a trend at this point.”
Average value of construction also increased, from $295,962 in 2012 to $332,457 in 2013.
Chief building official Mike Mettler noted housing starts are “picking up” but construction is only concentrated in two subdivisions: Brookmont off Chapel Hill Road and Slater Mill off Slater Mill Road.
“The rest of the city is dormant,” he said.
Mettler said, typically, builders are being cautious by only producing pre-sold houses. Many builders during the height of the housing boom produced houses on speculation – counting on purchases after construction was complete.
He said he felt the most important indicator now is if the pool of foreclosed houses is shrinking enough that builders begin increasing their supplies.
Trends show foreclosed houses are decreasing as companies buy them and turn them into income-producing properties, he said.
Outside the city in unincorporated Douglas County, permits for single-family houses decreased from 17 valued at $1.8 million in the first quarter of 2012, to 11 valued at $1.2 million in the first quarter of this year.
Average value of construction increased from $103,455 in 2012 to $107,907 in 2013.