As of the end of May, 1,242 building permits have been issued by Cherokee County.
That number comes in at 177 higher than the 1,065 that were given out by the end of May 2012.
Ana Silbernagel, director of Cherokee’s development service center, said it’s a good sign.
“(It’s) incredible,” she said.
Silbernagel said there have been increases in both commercial and home construction this year, but it’s the increase in home construction that is truly staggering.
“Our home (building) permits are back to 2008, 2007 results,” she said.
Silbernagel said considering the low amount of homes on the market in Cherokee, it’s no surprise developers are coming back to try to cash in.
“We have a very low inventory in the county,” she said. “I’ve spoken with a couple of Realtors who said that for the demand that they were forecasting, we did not have homes for the summer to sell.”
Wanda Roach, a Realtor with ERA Sunrise Realty, agreed the low inventory is getting builders back to work.
“Construction’s going strong out there. The market is great,” Roach said. “I was out at a (subdivision) today, and I couldn’t believe the number of people out there just looking. As an agent, it’s kind of frustrating (when) a buyer wants to buy a house, and there’s nothing to show them.”
One reason for the low inventory, Roach said, is that fewer and fewer homes are being foreclosed.
“We’ve been so used to all the foreclosures,” she said. “Now, the foreclosures have (almost) stopped. You just don’t have that many coming on the market right now, and people have just not been putting their houses on the market.”
Sibernagel said this low inventory is leading to a resurgence in some previously stagnant real estate developments in Cherokee.
“There were some that were dead,” she said. “But they’re starting all over again. Now, we have two that are going to be brand new subdivisions.”
David Moody, broker for ERA Sunrise Realty, said he expects the building market in Cherokee County to stabilize sometime later this year when homes being constructed now go on the market.
In the meantime, he said Cherokee County has about half the amount of inventory it needs.
“We’ve got a supply and demand problem out there,” Moody said. “What’s happening is our inventory of homes is going down, and the number of people wanting to buy is going up”
Moody said the phenomenon has gotten stronger in the past several years.
“We went from in 2011 having more inventory than we could sell to then having not enough,” he said.
Moody said, while the supply of new homes being so low can be frustrating, it’s a clear sign that Cherokee County is on the path toward a more stable economy.