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st. croix county seeing modest housing comeback

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st. croix county seeing modest housing comeback

housing starts continue a "slow rebound" in st. croix county, wis., but their numbers fall far short of the boom days before the great recession.st. croix county, the presumed beneficiary of a four-lane bridge that opened in august, once enjoyed the fastest rate of growth in wisconsin. more than 1,200 new homes were built for each of three consecutive years preceding the recession but dropped to about one-tenth of that in 2009.since then, housing starts began a steady but modest comeback, with 359 in 2016.through september of this year, the county has had 294 housing starts, according to the wisconsin builders association."i was surprised that 14 years ago those numbers were over a thousand," said bill rubin, executive director of the st. croix economic development corporation. "we're slowly coming around but what will happen next is anybody's guess."during the recession, st. croix county experienced one of the highest foreclosure rates in wisconsin.before the downturn, advocates for a new bridge cited the county's growth as an argument for its construction. however, a combination of circumstances, including declining homeowner interest in exurban living, curtailed the land rush.rubin said "it's hard to pin down" where in the county the bulk of new houses are being built. starts are measured as building permits for single family and twin homes.the new bridge crosses the st. croix river from oak park heights to st. joseph township in wisconsin. it replaces the stil...