The year of the duplex

2005 was the year of the duplex in Steamboat Springs.

A report just released by the Routt County Regional Building Department shows that building permits for 107 duplex units with a combined valuation of $35.6 million were issued in 2005. The next biggest year for duplexes in the past 10 years was 2004, when 67 units were permitted for a combined valuation of $23 million. Before that, the next closest year was 2001, when duplex units valued at $13 million went forward in the city.

Values assigned to building permits do not reflect the retail value of the property -- sale prices of finished homes tend to be higher than the building permit valuation.

The total valuation of permits issued in the city in 2005 was $119.1 million, up from $94.2 million in 2004. Last year's total was the biggest since 1998, when large industrial projects, Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel, the high school remodel and Yampa Valley Medical Center helped produce a record $169 million

At the same time duplexes were on the rise here, single-family home starts were on the decline, reflecting a scarcity of single-family lots.

The 39 single-family residences permitted last year were the fewest since 1996 and represent a sharp decline from 2004, when 73 single-family homes were approved.

The action for single-family homes continues to be outside Steamboat in Routt County and other municipalities. The 159 homes and the combined valuation of almost $60 million in the county were the highest in 10 years. Those figures include Hayden, Oak Creek and Yampa, as well as unincorporated areas.

When single-family home starts for Steamboat and other areas of the county are combined, the 198 units account for $79.47 million, or an average of just more than $400,000.

The valuation of multi-family residential permits in the city last year was virtually identical to the valuation of duplexes. The city saw 59 permits issued for 202 multi-family units last year.

An active commercial and industrial construction year saw 19 permits issued in the city for a valuation of $10.8 million. That's far from a record, but the greatest valuation since 1999.

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