2016 Construction Review
Construction and renovation activity on the Cape has been strong again in 2016. Compared to 2015 there has been an 8.2% increase in the number of building permits issued in Barnstable County. By contrast, the value of those permits actually decreased by about 7%. The decrease in the value of the permits is due to less new construction and more remodeling permits being issued. Still, 2016 ranks in the top three in permit value and permits issued in the past 10 years. *
On the Lower Cape, we have seen this busy trend continue as well. Chatham continues to be one of the most active with regards to construction and renovation. As mentioned in the sales market review, since there is historically low inventory, we are seeing buyers pay a hefty premium in many cases for a newly renovated or constructed home.
Beyond the numbers, we have had some valuable experience in 2016 with allowable uses of properties on or close to conservation resources, most notably water or wetlands. Many potential or current property owners assume that conservation by-laws are written in stone. When in actuality, there is room to work with town officials to accomplish a goal or most of a goal. Of course it takes more time and money to go through the process, but in most cases, not a prohibitive amount of either. And if planned properly, the project can significantly increase the value of a property for enjoyment and market value.
Over the past year, we have been fortunate to work with many current and potential buyers to find solutions to problems that the general market overlooks. Having a team with expertise in construction, zoning and conservation can help create a unique property that may not exist on the current low-inventory sales market.
*Source: Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Cape Cod