Supply doesn't equal demand for starter homes in Columbia

Supply doesnt equal demand for starter homes in Columbia

COLUMBIA, Mo. - More homebuyers in Columbia are looking for new construction and starter homes as opposed to resale homes, but the supply isn't there.

According to data from the Columbia Board of Realtors, the average selling price of a home in Boone County is between $180,000 and $200,000, give or take a few thousand.

But Sean Moore, president-elect of the board of realtors, said Columbia's high permit fees and strict regulations make it easier to build homes in that price range in the county.

"My builders don't want to touch the starter homes because there's no profit margins," he said. "People don't realize that the permits and regulatory costs are the same whether it's a starter home or a half-million-dollar home."

Board president Jim Meyer said new insulation requirements have gotten stricter for new homes, making it more expensive for builders.

"That's not including some fees for utilities connections for new homes," he said. "All of those things add an awful lot of cost to a home in Columbia as opposed to surrounding areas."

Meyer said that takes taxpayers and business out of Columbia.

Luxury homes that have sprung up all over Columbia, ones that could cost between $350,000 and $700,000, may be sitting vacant through the winter, said Moore. The demand for the homes two years ago doesn't match the supply that's available now.

"Any lack of sales hurts everyone," he said. "If there's not a demand for the homes, there's not a demand for the contractors who build those homes so it affects all classes of society."

Moore said buyers are also looking for smaller homes in good condition over big ones that need upgrades but millennials are looking for big homes, even if they're a first-time buyer.

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