Residential building permits in May highest since start of 2008

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Home construction numbers are up in Clovis. The Pleasant Run subdivision on Lowe Avenue north Clovis is one of several being built in response to expected growth associated with growth at Cannon Air Force Base.

Freedom New Mexico

If you file, they will come.

At least, that appears to be the indication from recent housing permits filed to the city.

According to a monthly building permits report filed with the city, there were 23 permit applications for new residential buildings in May — worth a total of $5,651,236.

It is the highest monthly number of either 2009 or 2008. And it is more than double the total of May 2008.

Mayor Pro Tem Randy Crowder, a past president of the New Mexico Homebuilders Association, predicts the biggest surges are yet to come as Cannon Air Force Base adds personnel.

For several years before Cannon was placed on the closure list, it wasn’t unusual to see those numbers in the 30s and 40s.

“It was certainly a slowdown with BRAC,” Crowder said, “very immediate and noticeable.”

Crowder said the slowdown has continued somewhat with the national economy.

But, he said, Clovis is holding steady thanks to Cannon’s new mission and industries like the Southwest Cheese.

For the first five months of 2009, there were 88 permits filed for new residential dwellings, worth $19.5 million.

For the first five months of 2008, those figures were 54 permits worth $15.5 million.

Only two of the new homes being built have a value of less than $150,000. Crowder doesn’t think that’s an indication of Clovis residents being priced out, but more of a sign that entry-level homes are yet to be started.

Fast facts
Residential permits filed

First five months of 2008: 54
First five months of 2009: 88
• January 10/21
• February 13/8
• March 7/19
• April 14/17
• May 10/23
Source: Clovis city documents