housing

The average size of new home construction in Walker County expanded 185 square feet last year to 2,699.

New home construction continued to grow at a record pace in Walker County in 2021, posting gains for the third consecutive year.

Data tracked by the Walker County Planning Office shows a nearly 5% increase year over year in the number of permits issued for the construction of new single-family homes. Housing starts grew from 150 units in 2020 to 157 in 2021.

A majority of the growth occurred in unincorporated areas near Chickamauga, LaFayette, Rock Spring and Flintstone-Chattanooga Valley. Homebuilders pulled 42 permits around Chickamauga, 35 permits outside of LaFayette and 25 permits each in Rock Spring the Flintstone-Chattanooga Valley community, which is just across the state border from Chattanooga, Tenn.

Rising Fawn and unincorporated Lookout Mountain also experienced year-over-year growth. Construction on 22 new homes on the mountain got underway in 2021.

“The consistent housing growth shows the secret is out about Walker County,” Board of Commissioners Chairman Shannon Whitfield said. “We have a diverse set of features that many new residents find attractive.

“The stunning views, affordability and availability of land, along with opportunities for outdoor recreation, ample quality of life considerations and our proximity to a mid-sized metropolitan area have positioned Walker County for continued growth over the next decade,” he said.

The average size of new home construction in Walker County expanded 185 square feet last year to 2,699. In addition, the average cost of construction rose to $279,745 per home, a $69,992 increase over 2020. Total valuation of all homes built in 2021 exceeded $43 million, a $12 million gain.

The number of new homes under construction in 2021 does not include Hawks Ridge, a new 500 home planned subdivision at the corner of Happy Valley Road and Battlefield Parkway. The developer plans to break ground on the first phase of construction in early 2022.

The total single-family home permits issued from 2012-2021 are as follows:

♦ 2012 — 46

♦ 2013 — 61

♦ 2014 — 73

♦ 2015 — 86

♦ 2016 — 123

♦ 2017 — 135

♦ 2018 — 124

♦ 2019 — 128

♦ 2020 — 150

♦ 2021 — 157

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