National housing index says Grand Junction market is on the rise

By: Taylor Temby Email
By: Taylor Temby Email

The housing index was created by the National Association of Home Builders, or NAHB. Grand Junction is listed in the top 80 markets that are improving. From CMU to the hospitals in the community, a number of factors have our home building on the rise.

When you bottom out, there’s only one way to go: up.

"We actually bottomed out last year at 293 permits," Griffin Concepts Inc. president Robert Griffin said of 2011.

The National Association of Home Builders recently revealed its 80 housing markets where recovery is underway. On the list? Grand Junction, Colorado.

“[We’ve received] a lot more calls are coming in, and people are really finally deciding it's a really good time to build," Griffin said.

"Folks are looking for homes and a lot of them are deciding to build versus 2011," Home Builders Association of Northwestern Colorado’s Traci Weinbrecht added. "Even though this is the time of year when building slows down a little bit, we're still a lot better off than 2011."

New home building is a trend home builders around the Valley are experiencing firsthand, and buyers are being enticed with the low interest rates. So far this year, Mesa County has issued just over 300 single family new housing permits, well over the 219 in September of 2011.

The NAHB index credits Grand Junction’s diversification beyond oil and gas for driving the housing market along with healthcare and school growth.

"Saint Mary’s Hospital and Community Hospital are both expanding," Weinbrect said.

"Colorado Mesa University is a huge economic engine for this community, for this region," Colorado Mesa University spokesperson Dana Nunn said.

CMU continues to bring in students, meaning there's a continuous need for buildings. The university has spent well over 100 million dollars in capital construction dollars in recent years to accommodate its growth, adding more jobs and in some cases, more housing.

"Over the last seven years, we have doubled the square footage on campus," Nunn said.

While the Grand Junction housing market is still far away from the pre-recession permit numbers of 2006 and 2007 when it averaged 1300 new family home building permits, for now, it looks like we’re back on the rise.

"We feel fortunate to be where we are at this point in time," Griffin said.

The index measured three things that are indicative of improving economic health, including employment, house prices and single family housing permit growth.

The housing index says the majority of new homes are being centered in Fruita and the Redlands in this area.


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