Plans for new homes on the rise in Charlotte



CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Construction on new homes in Charlotte is booming. The Home Builders Association of Charlotte says it saw an 80 percent jump compared to last year. It could be a sign of bigger, better things to come.

The sound of saws, hammers and drills are welcome noise to local builder Neal Forney. Things were more quiet a few years back.

"2008 was just dead," he said.

Forney, with Ingleside Builders, told Eyewitness News the past few years have been slow. But, right now, the work is non-stop. It's so busy, he is about to hire someone new which is something he had been hesitant to do for a while.

"Housing is a big part of the economy so when I'm able to add people on it's a big deal," said Forney.

Alan Banks is another builder ready to hire.

"We are now hiring two people. We haven't hired anyone in five years," said Banks.

Banks says his company, Evans Coghill Homes, is building twice as many homes as it was at this time last year.

As vice president of the Home Builders Association of Charlotte, he is seeing similar numbers across the region. The group tracks the biggest builders in Mecklenburg County.

"Once you compare the same month last year to the same month this year, single family permits are up 80 percent," said Banks.

He says that if we break that down, it is 145 new permits last June and 261 last month.

Both builders say that is good news for the economy as a whole.

"Home sales are up, recovery is taking place," said Banks.

"It says to me that maybe we are rolling in the right direction," said Forney.