Grand County housing starts fall from 2010 |

Grand County housing starts fall from 2010

Tonya Bina
Grand County, CO Colorado

Property owners are building about half the number of single-family homes in the county compared to last year, according to the latest report from the Grand County Building Department.

But overall home projects – such as new garages, additions, decks, finished basements and detached garages – are on the rise, with more county building permits over last year.

“It’s encouraging that there are more permits going out,” said Grand County Building Official Scott Penson.

The difficulty in acquiring home construction loans in today’s banking climate may be one reason some property owners are holding back, he said.

“There’s a lot of difficulty in getting financing for building a new home.”

But improving existing homes may boost sales in a competitive market.

When times were richer, the area was saturated with speculative building – which resulted in a larger inventory and competitive market with many homes in foreclosure.

The 22 homes that are being built in the county’s unincorporated areas and in Kremmling, Hot Sulphur Springs and Grand Lake are not concentrated in any one location, Penson said.

And for the homes that are being built and improvements being made, consumers overall are choosing more energy-efficient appliances and higher efficiency heating devices.

“People want to save money in the long run,” he said.

Grand Lake’s rise in building permits over last year can be attributed to work at the Grand Lake Lodge, which has been under new ownership since last spring. Out of the town’s 105 issued building permits in 2011, 66 have been issued to the Lodge for work on individual cabins.

The town has also approved removal of 11 of the employee housing cabins on the site, with construction of new employee housing anticipated for 2012, according to a report compiled by Town Planner Abby Jo Wittman.

Meanwhile, in Winter Park, there is one home poised to be built at Leland Creek, according to information from a 2011 Building Activity report compiled by Building Official Harold Howland. And a few remodels and water damage repairs were included in Winter Park’s 45 building permits to date. There presently are no new commercial projects under way in Winter Park.

Granby’s 96 building permits to date included roofing repairs from the June 30th microburst and a new 8,096 square-foot Xcel Energy shop at the corner of East Jasper Court and 6th Street. About 10 more dwellings by Village Homes in Granby Ranch are slated for work, and the new Middle Park Medical Center is nearing its final phases south of Granby, with an expected opening date set for Jan. 1.

Work began on Fraser’s one and only commercial building, the new 15,902 square-foot theater/bowling alley complex, the largest project out of Fraser’s 38 building permits issued to date. Also being built in Fraser are two triplexes and a custom home in Rendezvous.

Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603

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