Workers install a roof on a home under construction on
Prairie Creek Boulevard off Highway Z in Oconomowoc on
Wednesday afternoon. Despite the cold weather, crews are
working hard to keep up with the increased demand for new
Katherine Michalets/Special to The
OCONOMOWOC - Under sunny skies Wednesday,
workers installed a roof on a home under construction in
Oconomowoc despite the frigid wind to help keep up with
the increasing demand for new home construction in
Wisconsin - but especially in Waukesha County.
“Everything is looking up; people are back out there,”
said Paul Bielinski, chief operating officer of
Bielinski Homes. “People are interested in new homes.”
fact, Bielinski said, the industry is starting to see a
property lot shortage, which was predicted but companies
didn’t feel comfortable preventing by investing more
money during the economic downturn.
|“We have gotten a
good reception from the municipalities; they are happy
to see this start up again. They are pretty much letting
us in with open arms.”
- Paul Bielinski, chief operating officer of Bielinski
Kirsten Lee Villegas, state executive officer of the
Wisconsin Builders Association, said statewide there has
been an 18 percent increase in the amount of
single-family home permits being pulled when comparing
January 2015 to January 2014.
leading county for new permits is Dane County, followed
by Waukesha County and then Brown County, she said.
Waukesha County in January, there was a decrease of
permits pulled compared to January 2014. Last month, 35
single-family home permits were obtained in Waukesha
County, compared to 56 in January 2014, according to
data from the U.S Bureau of Census. In Dane County, 60
single-family home permits were pulled in January 2015
compared to 45 the year before and in Milwaukee County
there were four permits pulled in January 2015, five
less than January 2014.
comparing all of 2014 to 2013 the county had a sizeable
increase; however, there was a total of 705
single-family home permits pulled in 2014, 48 more than
2013’s total of 657, according to the U.S. Bureau of
comparison, Dane County had 1,102 permits pulled in 2014
and 1,111 in 2013. Milwaukee County had 138 permits
pulled in 2014 and 154 in 2013. Overall the state had a
decrease of 4 percent in single-family home permits
pulled in 2014 compared to 2013.
Villegas said the housing market for existing homes has
become more stable, which in turn creates more
confidence in homeowners to list their homes for sale to
start construction on a new home. Also, land developers
are “taking the plunge” to invest and develop land,
which they sat on for years during the economic
downturn, she said.
cause and effect,” Villegas said. “When one thing
happens it triggers another thing and another thing.”
drivers for new home construction in Dane and Waukesha
counties, she said, are job growth and available land to
Neumann, president of Neumann Companies, Inc., said as
the weather improves people start to get out and
actively search for their next home.
Neumann Companies is active in more than 20 communities,
he said, and intends to construct nine new developments
in 2015. Woodridge Estates in the Town of Delafield off
Maple Avenue and Highway KE is a 2015 Parade of Homes
site with homes being constructed right now, Neumann
said. The first phase has nearly sold out so another
phase is planned.
feel real good about the demand,” Neumann said, adding
that “really good is based on the rotten years we had
during the recession.”
permits for single-family homes, he said, are still 50
percent lower than where they were during the peak prior
to the recession, but that’s better than when they
bottomed out at 80 percent beneath that amount, he said.
don’t think we are going to get back to the peak; there
was overbuilding,” Neumann said.
Bielinski said his company is working on various new
developments and in 2015 four existing projects will add
a new phase to meet demand. Bielinski Homes is also
constructing a single-family development in Dousman and
three condo projects in Waukesha, he said.
Additionally, Bielinksi said banks are interested again
in offering financing.
Another plus of the rebounding home construction market
is the additional hires that businesses like Neumann
Companies have been able to make. Neumann said his
company has tripled in size since 2011. Including the
different divisions of Neumann Companies, about 65 to 70
people are employed by them, he said, not including
Municipalities are also fairly eager to work with
developers, Bielinski said.
have gotten a good reception from the municipalities;
they are happy to see this start up again,” he said.
“They are pretty much letting us in with open arms.”