Longer Permit Delays Slow Construction of Houses

(p. A3) Home prices and rents are surging in Denver, but local builder Jared Phifer said his construction work virtually ground to a halt last fall.
The reason: He can’t get permits for new projects.
The process can take as long as eight months, at which point the prices he quoted buyers often are out of date, he said.
The delays are “almost making us go bankrupt,” he said. “We’ve had to put a halt on so many projects that I’m in the process of getting a loan for $150,000 to cover all of our expenses.”
. . .
Developers of single-family homes reported that the median delay was seven months in 2015, compared with four months in 2011, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
. . .
Last July [2015], Denver saw the biggest permit backlog in its history, according to Brad Buchanan, the executive director of community planning and development. Residential projects were taking as long as three months to review, three times the target duration. Apartment and office projects were taking two months to review, although some developers and homeowners reported waiting much longer.
“Last summer our phones were ringing off the wall with people who couldn’t even get permits to change out water heaters,” said Jeff Whiton, chief executive officer of the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Denver.

For the full story, see:
LAURA KUSISTO. “Home Builders Slowed by Permit Delays.” The Wall Street Journal (Fri., March 4, 2016): A3.
(Note: ellipses, and bracketed year, added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the date March 3, 2016.)

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