NV Lic#036979
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Fewer housing permits, more expensive homes

As an influx of jobs and new residents fuels a housing affordability crisis in Reno-Sparks, one question arises: Why are developers not building more houses?

In the last decade, Washoe County averaged 1,352 single-family home permits per year. That is much less than the 36-year average of 2,470.

Even after taking out the numbers from the Great Recession years that followed the housing market’s collapse, permitting activity was still lower than average.

Here are the yearly averages for permits for single-family houses issued in Washoe County during various periods since 1983:

1983 to 1989: 2,698 per year
1990 to 1999: 2,485 per year
2000 to 2006: 4,120 per year
2007 to 2012: 848 per year
2013 to 2018: 1,872 per year

As housing demand ramped up in the last few years, Reno-Sparks started breaking records for price. Just last month, the median price for an existing single-family house in the city of Reno set another record after reaching $420,500 in May. That’s up 31 percent from January 2017.

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