The Sun-Gazette: "October home building surges in Visalia"

By John Lindt

6:43 am, November 11, 2020

Seventy-nine permits were issued in October for single-family homes in Visalia

VISALIA – Visalia home builders got the memo in October- it’s time to ramp up construction of new homes while the market is hot.

Visalia permitted 79 new single-family homes in October 2020. The highest number in this COVID impacted year. The value of these new homes topped $20 million compared to $13.6 million in October 2019.

Nationally the market is strong as well. U.S. government figures show building permits in September were 5.2% above the rate in August, and 8.1% above the rate September 2019. Historically low interest rates added to the trend as demand for homes has spiked due the pandemic. New buyers include more renters who have now decided to buy. One study shows almost half (46%) of current renters say they would now prefer to own versus rent. That is equal to, potentially, 7.4 million new homebuyers in the U.S. The majority of them are younger (millennials and generation X groups combined), ranging in age from 25 to 44.

Another trend nationally matches what is happening locally—more renovation of existing homes. In Visalia in October new residential remodels were valued at $4.5 million versus $3.6 million the same month a year before.

Builders busy in Visalia include the top five—DR Horton, Beazer, Woodside, San Joaquin Valley Homes and Lennar.