Members of the Columbia County Development Services Committee were greeted with both good news and bad news regarding the local housing market Tuesday.
Development services director Richard Harmon reported a significant decrease in residential permits in September compared with a year ago. He said 131 were issued in September 2011 and 65 in 2012.
“I’m not sure why this is,” he said. “It could be because we had those two 100-year storms, or it might be because it is an election year and people have other things on their mind.”
He said the upside of decreased new construction was a notable uptick in property values. The average home value in Columbia County in September 2011 was approximately $140,000, Harmon said. Currently, the average is a little more than $147,000.
“That’s pretty high, no matter where you are,” he said. “But this is Columbia County.”
Other business at the committee meeting included the approval of a $35,000 transfer of funds for computer and office infrastructure improvements in the Columbia County Building Standards department.
The Development Services meeting was preceded by a meeting of the Columbia County Management and Financial Services Committee. Business discussed at that meeting included renaming a small section of road that was once part of North Old Belair Orchard Place and establishing an independent fund in the amount of $57,300 for Reed Creek Park.