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Another Voice: Home construction a key part of region’s renaissance

By Patrick A. Marrano

Construction cranes soaring over downtown Buffalo are visual reminders of the long-awaited economic resurgence happening now in and around the city. Another key component of the story is the continued strength of new home construction, now in its third consecutive year.

Our trust in the local market is reflected in a nationwide trend. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported in July that builder confidence for newly built single-family homes was up four points, signaling that a majority of builders see sales conditions as good. You can certainly count Marrano Homes in that group.

That belief is also reflected among our customers, who are placing orders for new homes in all of our communities, from the Northtowns to the Southtowns. In 2013, our sales increased by 35 percent and through the first half of this year, sales are up another 16 percent.

Not only are we building new homes and selling them at a rapid rate, we are quickly turning over our existing inventory of patio homes, townhouses and single-family homes.

We’re putting people to work. The NAHB estimates that over the course of one year, the local impact of building 100 single-family homes in a typical metro area includes: $21.1 million in local income, $2.2 million in taxes and other revenue for local governments, and 324 local jobs. Additionally, the annual recurring impacts of building 100 single-family homes in a typical metro area include: $3.1 million in local income, $743,000 in taxes and other revenue for local governments, and 53 local jobs.

Western New York was fortunate to avoid the bottoming out of the real estate market that many other areas had to endure. In fact, Bloomberg found Buffalo to be the most stable real estate market over the last 35 years among the top 50 housing markets in the United States. Assuming buyers kept their homes for at least five years before selling, the report said the risk of loss in Buffalo was zero, further demonstrating the value of investing in the local housing market.

Consumer confidence in the local new housing market is strong. At just 4.5 percent, interest rates remain attractive and it’s a seller’s market for existing homes.

The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, HarborCenter, Canalside and other developments are attracting new businesses and residents to the Buffalo area, while giving the next generation of young people myriad reasons to stay in or return to Western New York. They’re also a boost to those of us who live and do business here.

The emergence of a “new Buffalo” bodes well for new home builders and countless other local enterprises. It’s a great time to be in business in Buffalo and Western New York.

Patrick A. Marrano is president of Marrano/Marc Equity Corp. in West Seneca.