There are more new homes being built in the city of Mora this year than any time in the past 11 years. In fact, 2018 saw the most new homes built in the last decade and 2019 is on track to double that number.
As of July 9, the city of Mora has issued 13 permits for new residential construction. The homes are single-family homes typically valued between $150,000-$250,000.
Just before the recession, new home builds were high at 20 in 2004 and 24 in 2005. From 2006-2007, housing prices began to drop and foreclosures increased as the housing bubble burst, leading the United States into the Great Recession.
Between 2008 and 2016, a mere five new homes were constructed in the city of Mora. New construction picked up with six homes in 2017, and seven in 2018.
2019 has seen an even more significant increase. City of Mora Building Official Dan Maroushek reported that he has already issued 13 permits for new home construction as of July 9.
Contractor Brian Belkholm of Heartland Homes said he has built over 700 homes in the course of his career in East Central Minnesota, especially in the Mora, North Branch, Pine City, Braham and Shafer areas. Belkholm is a production builder, which means he builds homes using ready-made plans on speculation they can be sold later.
“The recession kind of hurt,” said Belkholm. Like many builders, Belkholm took a break from construction during the recession and waited for the housing market to regain its strength. Recently, things have improved .
“The current market is very hot right now,” Belkholm said. “We’re taking advantage and putting up inventory so we have homes to sell. The sales have been great and we’re on track to have one of our biggest years.”
Belkholm has five projects currently in progress, including in Mora. Belkholm said his sales don’t depend on the style of the home as much as the price of the home. He aims to build homes that can be sold for approximately $200,000 and has found it successful.