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“Record demand”: The need for multifamily housing and Nampa’s economy discussed during forum

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The Nampa Chamber of Commerce hosted its economic forum Wednesday afternoon. 

City of Nampa Economic Development Director Robyn Sellers kicked the event off with a look back at the city’s past year. Sellers highlighted how busy the building department has been, noting a 22% increase in total permit volume. 

“But they have a 2% decrease in the inspection volume,” Sellers said. “That’s still almost 47,000 inspections. That’s quite a bit. There was an 18% increase in commercial, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and residential permits, with a total value of almost $830 million.”

Sellers showed the number of residential building permits decreased by 11%. Though the number of multi-family permits issued increased by 19% and single-family went down by 33%.

“This decrease is not a surprise. It’s due to a couple of factors but the two largest themes (are) the increase in our interest rates and the cost of construction materials,” Sellers said.

Mike Pena Of Colliers, another guest speaker, spoke about the need for more multi-family housing in the city.

“I think we’re gonna continue to see record demand for multifamily because our single-family housing market has gone through some difficulties. We have near-record high pricing with high-interest rates. Very hard for folks making Idaho wages to get into some of these houses because of the interest rates. So I think that’s going to continue to put more demand for affordable short-term housing,” Pena said. “And I would like to really ask our cities to take a look at that.”

Pena also talked about the influx of industrial permits and projects in Canyon County. He said there are about 3.5 million square feet of industrial projects in the county that are under construction. Pena added that the “vast majority” of these projects do not have a tenant when construction is started. Though Pena said with all these projects in the works, there will be a need for more workforce housing. 

“With all of this industrial development, I think it’s gonna put some more pressure on low-cost workforce housing,” Pena said.

The keynote speaker Jack Manley of J.P. Morgan took the stage to talk about the economy looking through more of a national lens. During his speech, Manley addressed the housing market.

“We also heard a little bit earlier about some of the challenges that the housing market is facing here, right? We’re not building enough, not just here, anywhere in this country,” Manley said. “We have been building up for the last 10 to 15 years. So home prices are going to stay elevated. And rent, which is actually what feeds into CPI, is going to continue to move higher.”

Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter
Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter
Autum Robertson is a BoiseDev reporter focused on Meridian and McCall. Contact her at [email protected].

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