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Momentum still building in residential construction in the Bluffs | Local News

New home construction is building momentum in Council Bluffs, and it should only get better, those in the industry said.

“The market has been good for us,” said Paula Danker, board president of the Southwest Iowa Association of Realtors.

According to the final 2017 permit numbers from the city’s building division, 76 permits were issued for single-family houses in 2017, compared to 52 the previous year and even ahead of the healthy figure of 74 permits issued in 2015.

There are numerous reasons for this increase, these officials said.

“A lot of lots have been platted or are in the process of being platted, and that’s relieving a stranglehold on developers to build,” said Steve Carmichael, the city’s chief building official. “We were getting to the end of the rope on the availability of lots.”

“The economy is turning around,” added Alicia Myers, the building division’s permit technician.

Last year’s single family permits had a total valuation of slightly more than $18 million. The permits issued in 2016 had a total valuation of $11.5 million, and the 2015 permits totaled nearly $16.1 million.

Optimism for continued momentum seems to be the attitude this year.

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“I predict 2018 will be a good year for housing for our market,” said Mark Wainwright, last year’s board director for the Southwest Iowa Association of Realtors.

Among the optimistic reasons are favorable interest rates, a high demand for real estate and more lots being developed, including those at Whispering Heights, he said. Located on the eastern edge of Council Bluffs, this new subdivision — lots are being sold by NP Dodge — features wooded and walkout lots, walking trails, bike trails and 50 acres of…

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