Construction, growth slows in DeSoto County - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Anna Marie Hartman

Construction, growth slows in DeSoto County

It's still the fastest growing county in Mississippi, but even DeSoto County is feeling the effects of a troubled economy.  New home construction in DeSoto County is a fraction of what it was two years ago.

Proof of the economic slowdown can be found in the county's building permits.  In 2006, more than 2,500 permits were issued for single family homes in DeSoto County.  Last year, that number decreased almost by half.

Though construction is down from 30 to 40 percent in the county,Ginger Adams at the Southaven Chamber of Commerce believes the county is doing well compared to other parts of the country..

"Based on the national numbers, I think we're still doing great," she said.

Though less than 300 permits have been issued for single family homes in DeSoto County so far in 2008, county planners say the high number of permits are generally requested during the summer.

And, while the housing market has cooled, Adams said, business is booming.

"Like the restaurants you go to on a Monday night, which is typically a slow night, you still wait for thirty minutes to get into the restaurants," she said.

County leaders say their core fundamentals are still in place- a strong school system, low crime rate and competitive housing prices.  When the economy bounces back, officials say, that foundation will still be there.

Adams added that the rate of 8 to 10 families moving into DeSoto County daily was bound to slow down some time.

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