Home building takes hit nationally, stays positive locally
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — The U.S. Commerce Department said construction spending increased nationally, but there was a big drop in home building across the country recently.
Duane Schulze, owner of Marlin Custom Builders, said our area is fortunate and doesn’t seem to follow national trends.
Schulze said our area doesn’t go up or down, the market consistently stays in the middle.
Local builders said there’s a good balance between remodeling and building new homes right now, but not all companies are able to stay busy.
For a few years after the economic collapse in 2008, local home builders said they were pretty slow. That changed in 2013.
“Last year was actually a good year. It really started moving,” Schulze said.
For Schulze that carried over to this year.
“They’re selling about as quick as they’re going up right now, We have quite a bit on the schedule yet, we’re going to go all the way through. We are already booking houses for this winters projects,” he said.
Rob Roberts, president of Castle Rock Builders, saw a good year in 2013. This year he isn’t as lucky.
“Our sales are probably right now cut in half,” Roberts said.
Roberts said he has three projects right now and they’re all remodels, which is not what he’s usually doing this time of year.
“We’d be building new homes. Anywhere between four and five a year,” he said.
Roberts said he doesn’t know what the rest of this year holds for Castle Rock Builders, but he hopes business picks up soon. He said when talking to other builders and contractors around the area it’s 50-50. Some are staying busy, some are slow.
Workers at building supply companies said they’re busy right now. They’ve been seeing an increased number of weather-related repairs recently.