CHATHAM – The number of new homes as well as additions and renovations to existing houses increased in 2018, but last year also saw a decrease in the number of demolition permits issued by the town.
The estimated value of both new homes and additions and renovations also increased substantially last year.
According to the community development department, 1,060 building permits were issued in 2018, a 16.6 percent increase over the 909 issued in 2017. The total value of all building permits last year was $78,264,565, a 10 percent increase over the 2017 total of $70,990,963.
The figures call into questions the assumption that new construction is being driven by tear-downs. In fact, nearly twice as many new home permits were issued as demolition permits in 2018. This differs from 2017, when the two figures were closer together.
In 2018 there were 42 new dwelling permits issued and 24 permits for demolitions. The previous year 36 new homes were permitted and 30 demolition permits were issued. The numbers are still lower than 2015, when 49 new home permits were issued.
The estimated value of new homes was up nearly 17 percent from $29,048,069 in 2017 to $32,752,646 last year.
Residential addition and renovation permits were up 20 percent, with 938 issued last year compared to 780 the previous year. The total estimated value of those permits was up 15 percent, from $35,128,912 in 2017 to $40,441,632 last year.
There were also 50 permits issued for nonresidential additions and renovations, two permits for new commercial structures, and three permits for alternations and additions to public structures.
The data was included in the community development department's December report to the town manager.