A California city in one of the nation's most depressed housing markets will attempt early next month to galvanize local residential building activity by offering refunds on certain permit and inspection fees provided the materials used in the project come from local suppliers. And the suppliers, in turn, are offering discounts to make sure the business comes to their doors.
The city of Murrieta's Home Improvement Incentive Program affects permit applications completed between July 5 and 13 that involve patio and balcony/decks, garden and retaining walls and columns, carports, swimming pools and spas, re-roof jobs, minor residential remodels, energy-efficient upgrades, and miscellaneous plumbing, mechanical, and electrical projects. New-home construction, room additions, and construction of detached dwellings don't count.
According to the resolution approved by the city council on June 7, the permit and inspection fees for such projects will be refunded once the work is completed so long as the materials used in the construction were purchased from a merchant in Murrieta.
The project has triggered competition among local stores to get that remodeling money. According to a local online news report, ProBuild's local Dixieline yard is offering 15% discounts to people buying goods because of the Inventive Program, while J&W Lumber in Murrieta is offering incentives as well. Others giving percentage or cash discounts include Lowe's, The Home Depot, and Lumber Liquidators.
Murrieta is a city of roughly 100,000 located in southwestern Riverside County. It's part of The Inland Empire, a region east of Los Angeles that saw some of the most frenzied building activity in the nation half a decade ago. But housing permit issuances in the area have plummeted roughly 75% between 2006 and 2011, Hanley Wood Market Intelligence reports, foreclosures account for more than half of the homes sold in some parts of the Inland Empire, and existing home prices have dropped roughly 60%.