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Builder optimism up according to Wells Fargo survey

By John Kirchner October 22, 2012

Along with the increase in housing permits and new building activity comes a story from Construction Informer suggesting builder optimism is up, as well.

Citing the Q3-2012 Construction Executive Survey from Wells Fargo Equipment Finance, Duane Craig of Construction Informer notes several encouraging trends compared to Wells Fargo’s survey from previous years:

  • Nearly half of construction executives (47.8%) said construction activity was “somewhat higher” or “much higher” than a year ago. In the 2011 survey, 38.4% said activity was higher and in 2010, only 28.5% said activity had improved over the previous year.”
  • “Although executives acknowledge year-over-year improvement in construction activity, a full 61.0% said the downturn in the U.S. construction industry will not be over for at least another year. In the 2011 survey, that number was 82.2%.”
  • “43.6% of the construction executives said their company is not hiring new employees within the next six months. While 41.0% said their company would hire some workers in the short term, 15.5% said they may or will have to reduce their workforce.”
  • “Four out of five respondents (80.5%) said they are seeing “somewhat higher” or “much higher” equipment prices compared to a year ago. More than 75% (76.2%) said that prices for materials are “somewhat higher” or “much higher” than a year ago.”

OK, so the optimism is generally measured. However, there’s a sense builders are slowly shaking the sense of gloom-and-doom brought on by the housing crash of 2008.