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Downtown's oldest neighborhoods seeing spike in new homes

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) -- The Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis reports a 39 percent increase in single-family home construction permits in January, compared to the same month last year.

A county seeing a surprising spike is Marion County, with a 91 percent increase from a year earlier. The builders association reports 51 new-home permits were granted in January of 2017, increasing to 101 last month.

"I think a lot of this is exciting rebirth for a lot of the neighborhoods," said Kate Collins, director of government affairs for the builders association.

Collins said the data is encouraging for Marion County residents, who should see property values increase with new homes on their block. She also noted the sections of Marion County seeing the biggest growth included neighborhoods north of 16th Street and east of College Avenue.

"This is the first time in a long time we've seen the growth cross that boundary of College and spread east," she said.

Collins said, other than low interest rates and popular new styles, another reason for the growth is the decade of developments poured into downtown Indianapolis.

"Building materials have actually gone up in price and home prices have gone up, but there's a lot of excitement, a lot of investment over the past 10 years in downtown Indianapolis," Collins said. "So, there's a lot of new products available in the urban core. For the right buyer, there is a walk-ability and amenities that people really want and they're willing to move downtown."

So, if you're in the market to build a new home, Collins said, now is the time.

"We expect some slow, steady growth over the next few years with perhaps a tipping point around 2020, with the market trying to correct itself then," she said.

Neighbors 24-Hour News 8 spoke to in the Kennedy-King neighborhood said they are happy to see the new homes going up in empty lots.

"It's changed from a long time ago. It's beautiful," said Daryl Bacon, who has lived in his home on Bellefontaine Street for 30 years. "We love them. Makes our property value go up."

Bacon also said the folks moving in have been pleasant and ready to connect with the community. He and his family will throw a neighborhood barbecue or hog roast and try to make their section of Indianapolis more interconnected. He said he has also jumped on the home improvement bandwagon.

"I retired. I had a new roof put on, siding windows, just everything," he said.

Marion County was one of seven central Indiana counties to see an increase. Only Shelby and Madison counties saw a decrease.

January 2018 single-family home building permits

  • Hamilton County: 192 (40 percent increase).
  • Marion County: 101 (91 percent increase).
  • Hendricks County: 67 (52 percent increase).
  • Johnson County: 54 (38 percent increase).
  • Hancock County: 38 (23 percent increase).
  • Boone County: 29 (21 percent increase).
  • Morgan County: 5 (400 percent increase).
  • Shelby County: 5 (17 percent decrease).
  • Madison County: 3 (70 percent decrease).

For the nine counties, January (494 permits) is highest since 2007 (550). For those concerned about a new housing boom, Collins said the greater Indianapolis numbers are nowhere near the concerning statistics from the early 2000s. She said, in 2003, they saw a homebuilding record high, with 15,000 permits. That dropped to 3,000 in 2008 during the economic crisis, and has only rebounded to 6,200 in 2017.

For more information on BAGI's statistics for each county, click here.

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