October 12, 2004 -- Posted at 11:30pm CDT
JONESBORO, AR - Five members of the Jonesboro Metropolitan Area Planning Commission met Tuesday night to discuss and vote on plans builders have for the area. Of the nine items on the agenda, seven of them had to do with residential subdivisions. In all, close to 200 new homes will be constructed in Jonesboro in the next few years as a result of those projects, and builders are confident the new home market is strong enough to support the growth.
"It's been gradually going upward and it seems like we get busier all the time. We're doing more houses and the houses are getting bigger and bigger. It just keeps going up," said Robin Nix, a home builder for the last 20 years.
Nix said the current market seems to be split. About half of the houses he's building are for Jonesboro area residents who want to move into larger homes. The other half of them are for newcomers.
Nix added, "We're fixing to start a house for a couple from Florida that decided to get out of Florida after three hurricanes, and we recently built one for a soldier in Japan."
Nix and his business partners are asking members of the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission for approval on two new subdivisions. One is an extension of Sea Island Drive in the Ridgepointe subdivision. Julie Mills expects building trends in Jonesboro, such as Nix's, will continue.
Mills, Executive Officer of North East Arkansas Home Builders Association, explained, "The way we know how the growth and stuff is doing is by the parade of homes that we do, and this year the guides just did not have the spec homes and stuff available, because of the fact that they were selling them as quick as they could build them."
Mills added that slowly rising home loan interest rates will cause the current building market to level off some, but an influx of new residents will sweep up new and older homes that are for sale.
"I don't think it's too fast right now, because most of the houses are selling, with new people coming in and people moving up, so I think Jonesboro is ahead of the scale on that, you know, I think it's fine right now," added Robin Nix.