Home builders feeling economy's pinch

Looking for tangible signs of the credit crunch and economic turmoil across Central Kentucky's landscape?

Here are two: noticeably fewer houses being built throughout the region, and more half-completed houses dotting the landscape.

Central Kentucky home builders say the credit crisis — especially banks tightening up on loans for builders and buyers — is hitting them hard.

Not only are fewer houses getting started in Lexington, fewer homes are getting finished as builders run out of money and can't borrow more from the banks, said Dewey Crowe, director of building inspection at the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government.

The number of building permits voided because of inactivity for more than 180 days is slowly rising, he said.

Overall, new home construction in Lexington has fallen every year since 2005, and through eight months this year the numbers are way down, according to a Herald-Leader analysis of building permits.

Read the complete story at