Home construction building back up on the coast - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Home construction building back up on the coast


The recession took its toll on the coast's housing market. Building stopped, and existing homes sat on the market for months. Is change on the way? The answer to that question might be found in the heart of Ocean Springs.

Coast homebuilders have been walking a financial tightrope for years. The sounds of saws and hammers mean the outlook is improving.

Carl Hamilton is a longtime homebuilder.

"We think there's a lot of pent up demand since 2008. People just disappeared from the market completely, and sooner or later, somebody's going to get married, have a baby and they have to do something," Hamilton said.

The recession is a bad memory for Hamilton.

"It hammered everybody for sure. We are seeing it definitely improving. I am very busy right now. We see a lot happening," Hamilton said.

Less than a block away, another home is going up. New construction is not the only thing seeing improvement.

Marques Thomas is spending thousands on renovations to a home he recently bought. He said he's not the only one.

"I really feel like because of financing, more people are staying in the homes that they're in and adding on. And re-doing their rooms, floors, adding new crown and bringing it up-to-date," Thomas explained.

The more construction tools you see mean one thing. The more hands are needed to operate them and that translates into much needed jobs in an industry that's been hammered by the recession. It also means a steady paycheck.

Trae Pitalo is another homebuilder.

"The subcontractors that I'm hiring, they actually have to hire more employees to keep up with the demand. So anytime it picks up, it across the board. A sweep when everybody starts hiring more people," Pitalo said.

Those hires also mean something even more important, according to Pitalo.

"It's given us a lot more confidence, and feeling a lot better about what the future has got to hold," Pitalo said

Nationwide, the government is reporting that new housing construction and home prices are also on the rise.

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