Action News is learning that the number of new homes being built in Tulare has nearly doubled when compared to last year.
Homes in one neighborhood are starting at $165,000. The plot has been vacant for years, but now, things there are moving quickly. The brand-new Catalina development in Tulare is still weeks away from its grand opening, but already the developer has sold eight homes.
"It's a great master plan. There's some good schools in this subdivision, so people seem to be really excited about getting new homes," said Joseph Leal, president of San Joaquin Valley Homes.
San Joaquin Valley Homes is building subdivisions in two different areas of Tulare. Leal says an upturn in the economy has buyers more confident, plus interest rates are still low.
"Inventories are down. We went through a 4-5 year market where nothing new was being built," said Leal.
Tulare officials are seeing the proof that millions more dollars are being invested in the city. In fact, last year at this time, the city says it received 26 permits to build new homes. So far this year, there have been 47 new home permits filed.
"Valuation roughly $4.2 million for last year and $7.2 million valuation for same period this year," said Rob Hunt, Tulare's community development director.
Hunt says the growth has officials excited of what could come for the future. With foreclosures down, Hunt says developers like Lennar, Woodside and San Joaquin Valley Homes are setting up in town on tracts that were previously left empty for years.
"This is the time when developers typically start getting those homes ready for sale in the spring and summer months, and so this may just be a sign of better things to come hopefully," said Hunt.
Officials are hoping that an increase in new homes here will in turn influence new commercial development.