HANCOCK COUNTY — Another year is almost in the books, as are plans for over 1,000 new homes in the county.

Local government departments overseeing building permits are reporting totals for 2021 in the triple digits throughout their respective jurisdictions, with several seeing significant spikes from last year. Officials expect much of the same, if not more, as they look toward 2022.

Through Dec. 27, McCordsville logged 432 building permits for single-family homes for the year, blasting past 2020’s 241.

Ryan Crum, McCordsville’s assistant town manager of planning and building, thinks the increase is part of what’s happening to the national housing market.

“We’re seeing just a surge in demand right now, and the builders are doing their best to keep up with it,” Crum said. “I think the other thing is simply McCordsville’s location and great schools — those things are making us very, very attractive. That certainly does not hurt and it’s going to continue to keep those numbers up.”

He doesn’t see the trend dipping in 2022.

“Likely it will be even a little bit more probably next year just based upon the fact that demand seems to continue, and we’re going to have really pretty healthy lot inventory next year,” he said.

New Palestine had 213 single-family residential building permits for the year as of Dec. 28. Town manager Jim Robinson noted that’s an exponential rise from the 35 to 40 the town typically has in a year.

“This year was just unreal for us,” he said.

Robinson attributes the surge to the work of D.R. Horton and Lennar Homes in the community.

“They’re very productive builders,” he said. “They’ve definitely been the bulk of it. We expected that, but not to this capacity. It’s amazing the permits that they bring in.”

He wouldn’t be surprised if the trajectory continues next year.

“I can’t look in a crystal ball, but I do know we are working with two other developers in the area as well as Lennar and D.R. Horton expanding,” Robinson said. “It’s very possible next year we could possibly be looking at the same or more homes.”

Robinson expects all of the residential building to spur other kinds of development too.

“We definitely have a lot of rooftops here in New Palestine,” he said. “I think a lot of people over the last few years have had a little bit of urgency for restaurants and other things to follow. Now that the rooftops are here, we’ll see what happens.”

For 2021 in Greenfield, single-family permits came in at 209 as of Dec. 27, down from last year’s total of 278. City planning technician Brandon Badger noted that while the total will likely be lower year over year, this month drew 55 permits, much higher than the monthly average of 14. He added that’s due to new sections in subdivisions recently opening up.

“It can come in waves at times,” Badger said.

Greenfield also had two multi-family building permits this year totaling more than 400 units.

Like his contemporaries throughout Hancock County, Badger expects more of same in the new year.

“Even though the numbers are kind of up and down a little bit, I don’t see anything really major changing, at least in the residential,” he said. “There seems to be quite a bit of interest in home building in Greenfield, and it doesn’t look like it’s changing anytime soon.”

Unincorporated Hancock County had 197 single-family permits so far this year as of Dec. 27, more than doubling last year’s total of 98. It also had 74 non-residential permits, nearly tripling the 25 in 2020.

Fortville had 113 single-family permits year to date through Dec. 28, up from a total of 99 last year.

“We’re definitely seeing a manageable uptick in permits,” said Adam Zaklikowski, the town’s planning and building director.

He added such permits have been rising incrementally in Fortville since 2016, when the town had 30, followed by 58 in 2017, 69 in 2018 and 72 in 2019.

“I would say at this point, barring any unforeseen larger national economic issues, I would expect those trends to continue,” Zaklikowski said. “We’ll see what happens with interest rates in 2022, and if they go up if that has an impact at all on the pace.”
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