New Construction Emerges from a Deep Freeze


Custom Home in Singing Hills Subdivision

Is new construction coming out of the deep freeze in Habersham County?

“Spec” home building almost completely dried up during the recent housing recession. Many local builders either went out of business and/or lost their partly-constructed houses in foreclosure, or they survived by working on existing-home remodeling projects. Custom home building continued through the recession, but at a much slower pace and primarily in upper price range homes, such as the Lake Burton area.

New Construction (11 mos)201420152016
Listed Lot Purchases656456
Custom Builds334160
Spec Builds71840
(Construction starts information provided by Tom Braswell, Habersham County Planning & Zoning.)


Note the stats in the chart above with only 7 starts of spec homes in all of 2014, as just a handful of builders took a conservative approach by starting only one or two homes at a time to test the market, and (I bet!) probably self-financed them as well.

As the housing market continued to recover, the number of spec homes starts increased 157% in 2015 and another 122% in 2016! Meanwhile custom builds outperformed spec building by 50% in 2016!

Granted, the overall numbers are not overwhelmingly large partly due to the fact we are a rural market, but you have to agree that the increased number of housing starts is evidence that growth in the new housing construction market is on the upswing!

With the rapid growth of Hall County to the south and expansion of industry along the I-985 and Hwy. 365 corridor, I look for this positive trend of new housing construction to continue, especially in south Habersham County where there is an large inventory of available building lots like those in Huntington Manor Subdivision located at the corner of Old Athens Highway and Old Cleveland Highway.

If you are interested in purchasing a building lot, a newly-constructed home, or need recommendations on a custom builder, call or email me and I can help you out.

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