Home construction varies in Crawford County

Ty Thompson
Press Argus-Courier
A new housing edition is under construction Van Buren on Mimosa Street. Van Buren saw an increase in residential building permits in 2020.

2020 was a very busy year for people buying homes in Crawford County. The demand may be high, but Van Buren and Alma have had different successes in providing new construction of homes. 

Van Buren saw an increase in residential building permits in 2020. In 2019, the number of permits was 44 with a residential value of $6,555,500. In 2020, the number of permits rose to 67 with a value of $11,211,800. This was for single-family households. 

Duplexes and multi-family units saw a decrease from 2019 to 2020. In 2019, 34 permits were issued that valued at $2,662,000 and lowered to 26 with a value of $1,595,000. 

Alma has had 15 new residential permits issued from April 1, 2020, to April 1 of this year. Overall, residential construction has been on the downslope in Alma since 2017. 

"This doesn't help with the high construction costs as of late," Cody Schindler, Alma planning director said. 

in 2017, the building permit fees reached their peak in April with $5,433. in 2020, that number dropped to only $470.

All of 2017, saw the most construction growth for Alma, but that number has dropped every year since. 

According to realtor.com, the median price of homes in Crawford County is $149,000.

Patricia Branson, Realtor at Chuck Fawcett Realty,  said that January through May is the time of the year when there is the most activity in people buying homes. 

"But we've got a new normal," Branson said. "the last two or three years it just hasn't slowed down. It's been all year long."

She explained that the most popular homes are those with the land. The houses within Van Buren are still being sold well, but houses with land are the most popular. 

"2020 was the busiest year in a long time," said Branson. "The only thing that slowed sales is low inventory. Still plenty of people wanting to buy, we just need people wanting to sell."