A house under construction in
the Rolling Oaks Subdivision in the Town of Waukesha.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff
TOWN OF WAUKESHA - Just a short time ago, seeing
new home construction like that in the Rolling Oaks II
Subdivision in the Town of Waukesha would have been rare, but
Belman Homes President Dave Belman said new home construction
has increased by 35 to 40 percent since last year.
During the recession, Belman Homes would only
have about 20 jobs in a year, while that figure was about 50
previously, Belman said. Now the company is back up to 48 homes
When Belman Homes opened up Rolling Oaks II off
of Guthrie Road, Belman said, he was hoping to sell five lots
during the first year. But he has sold 10, with three still
being finalized, since last fall.
The Metropolitan Builders Association also
reported positive numbers for new home construction on Friday.
In 2012, there were 970 housing starts in the five-county
metropolitan Milwaukee area. By the end of this past October,
there were 1,100 housing starts and the year is on track to
almost match the housing starts in 2007, which was 1,693.
Executive Director Kristine Hillmer said there is potential for
a 30 percent increase in new housing starts by the end of the
J. Scott Mathie, senior director of government
affairs for MBA, said while single-family housing has seen a
spike, multifamily is getting more financial support from banks
because they often remain wary, given the number of foreclosures
during the recession.
Demand for multifamily housing remains strong, as
well. As baby boomers get older, they often look to buy a condo
or move into other multifamily housing, Mathie said.
Belman said the condo market is lagging behind
the new home market by a couple of years. Condos are often
bought by people downsizing and single women. Buyers sometimes
have taken a financial loss on their existing property and want
to recoup some of their money when they buy a condo, Belman
said, so they are sensitive to the value.
As the economy gets back on track, resulting in
job creation, housing demands will increase. Mathie said as
younger people enter the workforce there will be a greater need
He also thinks the demand for single-family
housing will increase, which could cause problems due to there
now being a shortage of inventory.
In the coming years, there will be demand for
both new multifamily and single-family housing.
“It just depends on what communities are allowing
for and what developers can get developed in a very short time
period,” Mathie said of new construction.
While new home construction is on the rise, so
too are the material costs for building them, Belman said. His
recommendation is to build now “while everything is so good,”
including interest rates.
In the future, Belman anticipates there being a
lot shortage because many of the existing lots have been