Wednesday, July 18 2012, 04:48 PM CDT
Housing boom? Contractors aren't sure
By Caitlin Conrad/KTVL.com
MEDFORD, Ore -- Home construction businesses are seeing an increase in business but contractors say they're not sure if the upturn is permanent.
Karic Roberge, president of Whittle Construction, says his business has double in the past couple months. He thinks people are tired of sifting through foreclosed homes and dealing with the hassel of buying them.
Instead they're going back to buying custom homes.
The timing is right is for those who can build their own home. Roberge said property prices are extremely low, and while material prices are stile high, labor is cheap.
Steve Kost, owner of Kost Construction, said cheap labor isn't nessicarily the best thing for his company.
He has been very busy and the number of homes he's building is back up to pre-recession numbers. The problem, Kost said, is the price of new homes. Prices are staying at 2008-2009 prices.
Contractor Scott Owings says if the market is making a turn, he hasn't felt it yet. The longtime home builder has watched his company, Scott B. Owings Construction, shrink from building custom homes to working on existing houses.
People are still holding onto their money, making remodels work rather than building new homes, he said.
Companies like Roberge's are hoping the increased business will stick around. Roberge says while it feels like the market is heading back towards a boom it could just be summer.
"I don't want to get too excited because who know how winter is going to be," Roberge said.