10 Year Decline In Quad City Building Permits - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

10 Year Decline In Quad City Building Permits


It's been nearly five years since the housing market tanked.

Yet, a review of building permits issued throughout the Quad Cities, shows new home construction has been declining for ten years.

The reasons for those declines vary, and some cities fared worse than others.

Yet in Bettendorf, the permit numbers have stayed stable.

As the city has nearly made up all the ground lost from the recession's impact.

It and Rock Island highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the Quad Cities housing market.

"Builders come in buy lots, build homes, they're selling the homes that they build," says Bettendorf Community Development Director Bill Connors.

He says the schools and larger lot sizes drive the demand for new homes in Bettendorf. A demand reflected in its record of building permit applications.

Quad City Builders and Remodelers Association Executive Officer Julie Awkerman says Bettendorf has always seen strong growth.

"Bettendorf has always been higher up in numbers, one specific reason, there isn't, it's a combination of things."

Awkerman says Bettendorf also benefits from a land advantage over other parts of the Quad Cities.

"To have land available and land that's not congested with inner city sometimes, I think is better for the developer."

Awkerman says cities like Rock Island tend to be more land locked. With fewer places to build new homes, the builders want to make sure there are buyers out there first.

"Am I going to have people to go and buy the lots, and it goes back to these other things, if the builders don't feel comfortable like they're going to build and sell a home, they're not going to want to sit on it," says Awkerman.

A supply of home buyers has been missing from Rock Island, as the population has slowly dwindled. A trend community groups are fighting.

Renaissance Rock Island President Brian Hollenback says, "It is beginning to grow, certainly we'd like for it to grow faster, but it's stabilizing."

He says the city needs solid neighborhoods in order to grow. Federal dollars are helping to create that bedrock by tearing down eyesores and rebuilding one house at a time. Convincing private money to take the leap again.

"We are seeing the private sector step back into the market, that's something we haven't seen in quite a while," says Hollenback.

A trend Awkerman says home builders want to see in all the Quad Cities.

Although the number of building permits is down across East Moline, Moline, and Davenport, all those cities show their numbers stabilizing.

A sign the housing market is starting to recover.

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