by Lisa Tome
While commercial and industrial development in Cecil County is on the rise, single family home building has hit a new low.
Fiscal year 2017 permits issued by Cecil's Division of Permits and Inspections totaled 1,680, with only 84 being single family homes.
"We're still continuing to increase with commercial and industrial and home improvements," said Patrick Conway, Chief of Permits and Inspections.
At the end of fiscal year 2016, single family dwelling permits issued during that year was 94. In fiscal year 2015, single family was 98. In 2014, 132. In 2013, 188 and in 2012, 160.
"Single family continues to drop," said Conway. He cited one likely reason for the decrease is the increased mandates - sprinklers, sediment and erosion control, energy codes, stormwater management requirements and more. People are continuing to improve existing homes with upgrades. "Solar panels are the rage right now," said Conway.
And home building may be down because as of last week, the website realtor.com listed 1,070 homes in Cecil on the market. "It's wiser and cheaper in the long run to buy an existing home. There are very few independent home builders left in the county. Now we have more corporate builders," he said.
For the new fiscal year, which began July 1, three single family home permits have been submitted.
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