Long Beach seeing rise in new home construction

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - A lot more people are deciding the time is right to build a new house in Long Beach. City officials say since September, they've issued more than three times as many permits as usual.

Some Long Beach homeowners who live south of the railroad tracks say they're excited to be welcoming a lot of new neighbors.

"I've been here three-and-a-half years and I've noticed this year has been probably the most progressive year we've had with new houses," said homeowner Jerry Newman. "Just in this area of Long Beach there's probably five more houses going up. It makes the whole area look better. The lots are kept up and it's great to meet new people, have new neighbors."

Between January 1, 2013 and August 31, 2013 the Long Beach Building Department issued 14 building permits for new home construction. Since then, permit numbers have jumped to 46.  Long Beach officials say about a quarter of those new houses are going up south of the railroad track.

"It is a positive sign because there are several factors that kind of curtails people from building. Elevation, insurance and the cost of the property," said Earl Levens, Long Beach building official. "I think one of the things is people are finally starting to realize and are tired of paying taxes and are starting to sell some of the property at a more reasonable value."

Officials believe more people calling Long Beach home helps the city in more ways than one.

"You have more people in the area that will frequent the restaurants which we have several nice restaurants in the area. It helps sales tax, ad valorem. All kinds of different ways," said Levens.

Levens says some of the increase in new home construction permits come from two new subdivisions that are being built north of the tracks.

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