After years of stagnation in the local housing market, things are looking up for Sacramento contractors. Building permits for single-family homes in Sacramento are up 91 percent from last year, according to Robert Denk of the National Association of Home Builders. Denk does caution to take those figures, released by the US Census, with a grain of salt. “The increase in growth is high because no one has been building for so long,” says Denk, but he does agree that the Sacramento metro market is “coming out of the basement.”
Preliminary numbers from the California Employment Development Department reveal that Sacramento’s construction employment showed a modest increase of 1.5 percent from March 2012 to March 2013. Specialty trade contracting jobs, however, have jumped 13 percent during that period, a fact that makes Brad Diede happy. Diede is the Executive Director of the California Professional Association of Specialty Contractors.
What is the role of specialty contractors in Sacramento?
Local specialty contractors are called in to do specific kinds of work on new and existing construction sites. They are the experts in diverse areas including plumbing, concrete work, painting, tile and remodeling. “Contractors that supply equipment needed for construction are also getting much more work now,” says Diede.
What is contributing to this upswing in jobs?
“There is a pent-up demand after several years of stoppage,” Diede says. “With such a low inventory of new homes, builders are rushing to catch up.” He believes there are a number of other factors in play, such as lower mortgage rates and price increases in the rental market.
Will this positive trend continue?
Robert Denk with NAHB has the most insight on this. The forecast for single-family home starts should “see even greater improvement in the immediate and near future,” according to Denk. His organization predicts that construction of new homes “will increase to 73 percent by the end of this year…with an additional 55 percent in 2014.”
“The uptick in the residential market is keeping subcontractors busy,” says Brad Diede. “And that’s a happy thing.”
Valerie Heimerich is a freelance writer out of Sacramento. She typically covers animals and community issues. She has volunteered and worked for many organizations helping animals and people.
Her work can be found at Examiner.com.