"There are always people who seem to want new homes," said Roy Steiner, president of the Berkshire Industrial Corp., the family-owned business that runs the Berkshire Corporate Park and has built homes throughout western Connecticut for more than 20 years. The park straddles Bethel, Brookfield and Danbury.
Steiner's son Chris Steiner is now working on seven houses in Bethel and seven in Monroe.
"It is shown in the national housing start figures," said Ridgefield Economist Nicholas Perna of Perna Associates, economist for numerous Connecticut banks for decades, a former member of the President's Council of Economic Advisors and a professor at Yale. "I'm not certain about the Connecticut figures."
The state Department of Economic and Community Development reported Connecticut towns issued 154 permits in January, as compared to 115 in 2011. In Danbury, DECD reported 20 housing permits this year, as compared to seven last year.
In Danbury, the Permit Center reported eight new home starts so far in 2012, which was one more than the seven permitted in 2011. No explanation for the difference between city and state figures was available Friday morning.
"It's a slow incline. What I'm seeing is more people remodeling," said Brad Golddstein of on White Street. "There's a pent-up demand. People are starting to do things. It's been a long recession."
Goldstein said Danbury's experience of seven new houses last year and eight so far this year mirrors his experience in the lumber yard. "That's how I see it," Goldstein said.
The National Association of Home Builders said 2012 will be the year of home remodeling, and in the Northeast, the counties that make up New York City, Long Island and Westchester County will spend the most money on remodeling. That is according to a March 12 association report called, "NAHB Identifies Top Counties for Residential Remodeling."