Strong Recovery Continues for Building Industry

Ventura County's construction industry is enjoying a strong, sustained recovery from the recession, with the value of projects so far this year exceeding that of comparable periods in each of the past five years.

The county's home builders are doing even better than the construction industry in general. More permits for new single-family homes were issued through July of this year than in any comparable period since 1989, according to the Construction Industry Research Board.

Projects of all kinds, including industrial and commercial buildings, totaled $355.9 million in the first seven months of 1995. That's up from $323.6 million for the same period last year and an impressive 31% above the level of only two years ago.

The county building industry is having its best year since 1990, when projects of all kinds totaled $367 million, reports the board, an industry trade group based in Burbank.

Despite recent reports of soft housing sales, builders started 1,083 new single-family homes in Ventura County through July 31 of this year. That compared to 939 in the same period last year and is more than 63% ahead of the building rate in 1993.

A slowdown did occur in July of this year, however, according to Ben Bartolotto, the building group's research director.

He said 140 new homes were started in the county in July, down sharply from 264 in June but still ahead of the 88 single-family units started in July, 1994.

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