Pelham housing market up over past years

PELHAM – The city of Pelham is on track to see another year of growth in the number of new homes built and the number of existing homes that undergo renovations.

From Jan. 1, 2016 to Dec. 31, 2016, the city issued 138 new home building permits, with the value for those projects totaling $31.4 million, and 359 permits for renovations and additions to existing homes, with a total value of $2.4 million, according to data from city finance director Tom Seale.

During the same time period in 2015, the city issued 106 new home building permits and 243 permits for renovation and additions. In 2014, the numbers were even lower with 91 new home permits and 171 renovation permits.

Year over year, the city has been consistently making gains in the housing market.

According to Lake Homes Realty CEO Glen Phillips, real estate markets across the state are seeing improvements like those in Pelham. Phillips said Alabama’s housing market is experiencing an upturn, but the market has not hit its peak. He added that different areas will hit their peak at different times.

Realtor Dianna Howell, with RealtySouth in Pelham, said the city’s housing market started greatly improving last fall.

Howell said Pelham is a seller’s market right now. She said homes in Pelham that are priced right are selling in about 30 days.

“We need more homes on the market,” she said. “The demand is high. If you’re not getting any showings in the first two week, then you know the house is overpriced,” she said.

In the greater Birmingham area, “new construction has snuck back in,” according to Phillips. Smaller developments are selling, as contractors now seem to be building in phases instead of constructing large subdivisions all at once, he said.

Howell said although newly constructed homes are popular in Pelham, there isn’t a lot of land available for construction.

Phillips added that really big and expensive houses are no longer the trend. Homes in the $175,000 to $350,000 range are popular in the Shelby and Jefferson county areas.