Albuquerque home construction makes a comeback
Posted at: 07/19/2012 6:52 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4
More signs of life in Albuquerque's sluggish economy: the metro area is now running ahead of the national trend in new home construction.
Across the country last month builders started working on the most new homes and apartments since 2008, an increase of almost 7 percent in May.
But Albuquerque's housing construction figures looked a lot brighter than the national average with an increase of nearly 14 percent, with 141 housing starts.
Builders say May was pretty good and July looks like it will stay on track.
"We're anticipating somewhere between a 25 and 30 percent increase over last year, so we're greatly encouraged by that," Home Builders Association's Jim Folkman said. " We're still cautious about an improvement but we seem to have some steady growth here and we're encouraged by that."
Thousands of New Mexico construction jobs have shriveled up and blew away because of the recession. But now they may be coming back for framers, roofers, concrete crews and all the rest.
"The housing industry has always led the economy out of recessions," Folkman said. "If this is a sign that the housing industry has started to turn a little bit and improve, hopefully that's a harbinger for the economy in general."
Back in 2005 - before the housing bubble burst - the metro area had about 8,600 permits for new home construction. Last year it was less than 1,200. It's a long way back up.