County seeing increase in home building

Two of the county’s largest cities are seeing gradual increases in home building permits — a strong sign of an improving economy.

Pelham issued 78 new home building permits in 2012, up from 64 in 2011 and 55 in 2010.

Alabaster issued as many new home building permits in 2012 as it did in the previous two years combined. In 2012, the city issued 59 home building permits — its highest number since 2008, when the city issued 100 building permits.

The numbers are still much lower than they were before the recession began, but it’s a good sign. People are starting to feel comfortable putting their old houses on the market and making investments in new places to live.

We’re glad to see this development, and we believe it is another sign that Shelby County’s economy is gradually improving. After all, Shelby County continues to lead the state with a jobless rate of 4.6 percent, a percentage point lower than any other county and almost three points lower than the state rate of 7.5 percent.

The commercial building permits for Pelham and Alabaster don’t paint quite as rosy of a picture. Pelham only saw three new commercial building permits in 2012 — up from only one in 2011. Meanwhile, Alabaster issued 22 new commercial building permits in 2012, but that was down sharply from the 53 issued in 2011.

We encourage our area leaders and legislators to redouble efforts to bring more businesses to the county in 2013. With the number of new homes gradually rising, we hope that will provide an impetus to drive business growth as well.

For those homeowners and contractors choosing to invest in building new homes in the Shelby County area, we thank you for your faith in the county. You could not have chosen a better place to put down roots, and we believe you will be rewarded for choosing Shelby County as a place to live and do business.

The We Say is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.