home builders

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Michigan has a serious labor shortage in home construction which will slow the pace of new home building for at least the next six years.

Usually some 28,000 new homes are built each year in Michigan. This past year, there were just 13,000. Bob Filka, CEO of the Homebuilders Association of Michigan, says this is in part because of a workforce shortage.

That shortage of labor include framers, carpenters, plumbers, and electricians. According to Filka, Michigan lost approximately 60,000 workers in the industry during the downturn. They left the state, retired, or changed careers, and many of them are not coming back to the job in the sector.

hstreetagent

In the depths of the Great Recession, here are words that we thought we might never hear again - "Help Wanted."

Construction jobs are going begging.

Five years ago, Michigan’s construction industry was fighting to stay alive.

Now it’s on the rebound, but home builders say they need more workers. And they’re not finding enough folks apparently willing to put in a hard day’s work on a construction site. The Grand Rapids Community College's residential construction program only drew five students.

What’s with the construction labor shortage?

John Bitely is the President and Owner of Sable Homes in Grand Rapids, and he joined us today along with Donald Grimes. Grimes is a senior research associate with the University of Michigan, specializing on economic forecasting and regional economic development in Michigan.

Listen to the full interview above.

calgaryrealestate.com

Building permits are up by more than a third this year in Michigan.  Home prices are also rising.

These should be great days for Michigan’s homebuilding industry, which nearly ground to a halt during the recession.

But there’s a problem: not enough workers.

A survey finds a third of Michigan homebuilding contractors are having trouble finding enough workers to do the job. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s home builders are more optimistic now than they’ve been in several years.

A new survey by the Home Builders Association of Michigan shows improving housing starts and other trends give home builders and remodelers hope that they're emerging from the recession.    He says some markets, like Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, are already seeing an increase.

“Trends are all trending upward,” says Robert Filka, the association’s CEO, “We’re very optimistic about the outlook for the industry.”

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

There is a growing shortage of new homes in southeast Michigan.     That could be good news to the region’s home builders who have been struggling since before the recession began.

New home construction bottomed out in southeast Michigan in 2009 when few people were in the market for a home, new or not.

Last year, the number of home construction permits tripled, but still demand for new homes outstripped the supply.

(Official White House photo)

 The nation’s home builders are one group expected to closely watch President Obama’s economic address to Congress this week.  Pulte Homes of Bloomfield Hills is the nation’s largest home builder.   

Pulte, like its competitors, has seen its sales plummet as the housing market crashed in recent years.    And past government efforts to prop up the housing market with tax breaks have failed to spur new home construction.