BURLEY • Minidoka County saw steady commercial and residential construction growth in 2012, while Cassia County showed a decline in valuation and in the number of permits issued. But home sales across both counties rose in 2012 compared to the previous year.
Minidoka County issued nearly $55 million in permits for various types of residential and commercial projects in 2012 — an increase of more than $33.6 million over the 2011 value.
That jump came mainly from several large projects, including the new Double L manufacturing plant in Heyburn, a new building for Mart Produce, a large masonry building owned by Probst Electric south of Rupert on Idaho Highway 24, and an automated dairy on 300 S. Road, said building inspector Mary Reeves. A new addition to the Kenworth building near exit 208 of Interstate 84 is also underway, she said, and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s new Snake River Field Office is under construction north of 21st Street in Heyburn.
“It’s been a steady year for us,” Reeves said “We haven’t seen the craziness that Twin Falls and Boise has seen but it’s been steady.”
A lot of the growth is occurring near interstate exits 208 and 211, she said.
“Those are really nice locations for businesses,” she said.
Cassia County building permits slid slightly from 221 permits in 2011 to 192 permits issued in 2012. Their combined value slipped from $14 million in 2011 to $13.5 million the year after.
“It definitely shows a downward trend last year,” said Joe Larsen, Cassia County clerk.
The county’s totals have bounced up and down over the last few years. In 2009 Cassia County building permits dipped to $10.3 million in value, rebounding to nearly $20.2 in 2010.
Home sales rose about 17 percent for the year, according to Mini-Cassia Association of Realtors President Shelley Telleria. She said 280 homes across Mini-Cassia sold in 2012, compared to 241 in 2011.
Telleria said buyers ages 25 to 45 on average prefer new construction with open floor plans.
“In Mini-Cassia people are generally very specific about which city they want to live in,” she said.
Reeves said she believes low interest rates helped spur residential growth.
The average price of homes sold in the area last year was $117,351. The homes were on the market an average of 166 days.