A new federal report shows new home construction plunged to an all-time low in December, making 2008 the worst year for the industry in decades.
The Commerce Department reports 2008 was the worst year on record for new home construction since 1959. Now those who rely on the industry say they hope positive changes are in store for the future.
James Johnson is a mason contractor and says he knows first hand the decline of new home construction
“It's slowing down, I've not got no calls coming in. I probably have three weeks left of work and hopefully something will come in by then,” he says.
He says the decline is something he first noticed last summer.
“I have three employees right now. I did have five this summer. Just where it's slowing down I had to cut back.”
“Needless to say, being in the building supply industry, I'm disappointed,” said Mike Craft.
Craft is the manager and part-owner for a lumber supply company in Prestonsburg. He says his business is directly affected by the lack of new home construction.
“Our sales are down for this year compared to last year and the year before that. And it's not just the weather, it's the economy and the people's attitude,” says Craft.
Realtor Patty Hatfield says despite tighter lending standards, she still encourages people to pursue building in the market
“I've seen a lot of ups and downs and real estate does go down, but it always does come back up, come back up again,” says Hatfield.
“I believe, it may take it a few years, but it will, everything seems to go in a circle, and it will turn around. I do believe it will,” says Eddie Boyd, a contractor.