Alabaster housing market takes slight dip, commercial surges

Alabaster saw a dip in its number of new homes in February, but saw an uptick in its commercial market. (File)

Alabaster saw a dip in its number of new homes in February, but saw an uptick in its commercial market. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – The city’s housing market took a slight step backward in February, but city leaders said they expect the trend to reverse itself quickly.

The Alabaster Department of Building Safety issued five new home building permits in February, bringing the total number of permits to 11 through the first two months of 2015.

In February 2014, the department issued 10 new home building permits, and was at 19 through the first two months of the year.

“We are a little behind where we were this time last year,” said Ward 7 Councilman Tommy Ryals. “But there are rumblings of some existing subdivisions starting back up, so I think that’s going to change quickly.”

While the city’s number of permits are down compared to last year, the value of those permits is significantly higher. The 19 permits issued in January and February 2014 were valued at about $3.8 million, while this year’s 11 permits are valued at more than $5.9 million.

On the business side of the city’s economy, Alabaster is seeing a surge in its number of new commercial building permits this year.

The Department of Building Safety issued 11 new commercial building permits in February, compared to zero in February 2014. This year, the city has issued a total of 13 new commercial building permits, compared to two during the same time period in 2014.

The 13 permits issued so far this year were valued at nearly $1 million, while the two permits issued through the first two months of last year were valued at about $68,013.

The department had also issued seven commercial renovation permits valued at $606,396 at the end of February, compared to one valued at $49,013 through the first two months of 2014.