Kevin Griffel of Centerline Beach Volleyball says the company has something unique coming up.

Kevin Griffel of Centerline Beach Volleyball says the company has something unique coming up.

The company has adult and youth volleyball leagues and is adding The Pavillion, a 18,000-square-foot space set to open in mid-November. That means both indoor and sand volleyball, and Griffel says he can’t turn up any other facilities with that combination anywhere in the Midwest.

The company, at 1900 East U.S. 40 in Blue Springs, also offers space for parties, wedding receptions, graduation parties and similar events. It also attracts some of those popular weekend tournaments that draw lots of folks to the area.

“Hopefully we’ll see a lot of Kansas license plates out there,” Griffel told the Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce last week. “We need more Kansas dollars over here.”

Mixed housing news

The most recent metro area housing reports have mixed news for Eastern Jackson County. It looks as if more homes are being built in 2011 than in 2010, but home prices continue to fall.

Led by Independence, building permits issused for single-family homes are up 27 percent so far this year in Eastern Jackson County, according to the Home Builders Association of Kansas City. Independence has issued 98 permits in the first eight months of the year, compared with 37 in the same period in 2010. Blue Springs is at 36, up from 35. Grain Valley is at 21, down from 23.

Metrowide – four counties each in Missouri and Kansas – single-family permits are down 8.7 percent. However, the Home Builders Association says, if you throw in multi-family housing, permits are up 11 percent. The group suggests some stability is returning to the market and says super-low interest rates are contributing to the gains.

On the other hand, the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors reports that home prices in Jackson County keep falling, in line with national trends. A new home in Jackson County went for an average of $277,020 in August, down from $308,544 a year ago. Existing home prices were down too, to $106,201 last month, compared with $112,018 in August 2010.

Most counties in the area are seeing prices fall. The metrowide average for a new home was $303,611 in August, down 3 percent from $313,007 a year ago. The number of new homes on the market is down 18 percent over the last year, but there’s still about a nine-month supply of new and existing homes on the market, an imbalance favorable to buyers.