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Michigan home builders more optimistic

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.”

But Filka says the home building and remodeling industry is still struggling in Michigan.

Filka says this year about ten thousand new homes will be built in Michigan, compared to 30 thousand in a normal year. And that’s just part of the problem.   

“Even though we’re at 30 percent of normal…we’re seeing difficulty….in some markets to find workers,” says Filka. 

Filka says, as the economy dried up during the recession, thousands of skilled carpenters and others left Michigan.  He says it will take time to rebuild the home building industry workforce.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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