New home construction hits slump - - Jackson, MS

New home construction hits slump

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By David Kenney - bio | email

Jackson, MS (WLBT) -  Signs from the housing market show an economic recovery could take longer than most had hoped. Industry experts say in May, new home construction fell to its lowest level in nearly 40 years nationwide.

Experts say a weak job market and the increasing number of foreclosed properties are to blame. Signs of a spring recovery starting to dwindle in the summer heat.

Marty Milstead of the Mississippi Home Builders Association says, "Our members are cautious, there was a lot of inventory out there that's when you can get hurt from a building perspective, when you have too much inventory, so our people are building back."

Milstead says the magnolia state is fairing well when compared to the rest of the nation. The problem in many areas is construction companies aren't sure things will get better, before they get worse.

The National Association of Home Builders says that last month builders confidence in the housing market sank to 14, the lowest level since March of 2009. Anything below 50 indicates negative feelings.

"I think one of the problems is I think the confidence of the consumer is still very cautious. People are wondering is this really over? I don't want to go back, I don't want to go spend all this money then not have a way to recover my investment," says Milstead.

Many home builders have scaled back building extravagant homes, and ramped up more affordable housing, hoping to build buyers confidence back. It's less square footage but something buyers may feel more comfortable in.

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