Construction industry expects boom in 2014

Home Construction (KSN File Photo)

WICHITA, Kansas – After several stormy years in the construction business, the outlook for 2014 is looking much brighter.

According to a report released Tuesday, this could be one of the strongest years in recent history for the construction trade, especially here in the Midwest.

We are just a few weeks into 2014 and in this southeast Wichita neighborhood, construction season is in full swing.

Steve Miller is the owner of Build Wichita. He was developer for two decades, buying land and financing real estate deals until about five years ago.

That’s when a builder pulled out of a Wichita subdivision because of the housing crash. Miller took the opportunity to get into the home building business, and after surviving several years of a down economy, he says things are looking up.

“I think this year is going to be a lot better you can kind of tell the attitudes of the buyers they are more aggressive about wanting to get out of their house. Two or three years ago they were just kind of waiting and seeing and weren’t in any big rush but now it seems like everybody is wanting to catch the low interest rates. So yeah I think it really has picked up,” Miller said.

Banks loans for homes are also picking up after declining for several years following the housing bubble burst and financial crisis in late 2008.

In the Midwest, nearly 40 percent  of the companies surveyed said they plan to add workers in 2014. It’s not just construction of homes, construction of commercial buildings should also see a boost this year.

KSN reached out to several other area home builders who said they’re also optimistic about 2014.

Some builders even declined our interview requests, saying they were just too busy building or showing homes to prospective buyers.

“I can sense better attitudes all across the board pretty much,” Miller said.

It’s an optimistic attitude home builders like Miller hope to carry through the heart of the construction season.

According to the survey, many companies say finding qualified construction project managers with the proper degrees and certification could be a problem. It’s an issue some in the industry are calling on Congress to address.


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