PEEKSKILL, N.Y. – Property sales are up in Peekskill even as building permits remain flat from last year.
The city granted 175 certificates of occupancy for existing properties so far this year, up from the total of 168 granted altogether in 2011, according to records provided by the building department. The certificates must be obtained by a new owner when a property changes hands.
While the economic recovery may be playing a role in the increase, Peekskill building inspector Victor Pizzella said property owners may be looking to get rid of property they’ve had on the market for a long time.
“People may be getting a bit more realistic about the prices they can sell at,” he said.
On the other hand, the city received 152 residential property building permits so far this year, about the same amount as the city received for all of last year.
While there have been a few applications to build new homes, the majority of permits are for minor additions that may help sell a home, such as new bathrooms, decks, fences or windows. Alternative energy is also becoming popular, he added.
“This year has been a big year for solar energy,” Pizzella said.
There have been four applications for solar panels this year in the city, on top of four that were applied for in 2011. Many of the solar units being installed are used for heating water.
“A 4’x8’ solar panel can provide hot water for an average family,” Pizzella said.
The number of building permit applications in the city peaked in 2002, when 142 permits for new construction and 297 permits for additions and alterations were applied for. In 2011, five new construction and 93 addition and alteration building permits were applied for.
Like many other municipalities, the building department is re-evaluating its permit fees, which Pizzella said is done every five years or so.
“We don’t want to be the highest or lowest, we want to be somewhere in the middle,” Pizzella said. “We know this is a hard-working blue-collar town,” Pizzella said.