CROWN POINT | The city expects to close out the year with a continued strong showing in new home construction.
A total of 173 building permits for single-family homes had been issued through mid-December, Planning Administrator Christopher Meyers said.
That compared to 166 total permits for single-family homes issued in all of 2012, Meyers said.
Construction costs of the homes permitted through the middle of this month totaled $44,986,909, compared to $43,424,934 for all of 2012, Meyers said.
"This was a strong year," Meyers said. "We're showing growth in residential development on par with the nationwide return to single-family home construction."
New-home construction has been on the rise in Crown Point for the past several years after bottoming out in 2008, when only 72 new homes were constructed. An earlier boom peaked in 2005 with 295 new single-family homes.
The strong housing market landed the city a top spot in a 2013 quarterly report ranking municipalities in the Chicago-area market.
Crown Point was one of just two Northwest Indiana communities to make it into the MetroStudy report ranking of the top 15 for new housing starts. The city ranked fifth, with neighboring St. John ranked fourth.
The remaining 13 communities were in the north, west and southwest suburbs of Chicago.
Building permits this year were issued in a number of subdivisions throughout Crown Point, including Ellendale Farm and Highlands of Ellendale Farm, with a total 31, and the Regency subdivision with a total 41, according to information from the Crown Point Planning and Building Department.
Homebuyer interest in Crown Point is a nearly equal mix of local buyers relocating to a new home and those from across the Illinois state line, said Ryan Fleming, whose Fleming Realty is developing Ellendale Farm.
"They're realizing the amenities on this side of the state line are very nice and there's a little lower property tax on this side," Fleming said of out-of-state buyers.
New-home affordability is an attraction, said Carol Biel with Century 21 Executive Realty.
And the city itself draws buyers, Biel said. "Crown Point has so many things to offer: the (Lake County) fairgrounds, the downtown square. It's a big town but you get a smaller town feel."