10/15/2018

News

California construction firms have too few workers. Can tech fix that?

U.S. construction companies are grappling with a widespread labor shortage that is exacerbating the cost of housing and other buildings, according to a new survey. Eighty percent of the 2,552 U.S. construction companies surveyed said they are having difficulty hiring construction workers, according to the Associated General Contractors of America and Autodesk, an engineering software […]

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SF residential projects languish as rising costs force developers to cash out

While the next crop of luxury condo towers like 160 Folsom, which developer Tishman Speyer has branded as Mira, continue to rise in the fast-growing eastern end of South of Market, other approved housing projects across the city, like 2675 Folsom St., are stalled and on the market because of soaring construction costs and fees, […]

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Can Silicon Valley Disrupt How We Build?

From the end of the Second World War until a few years ago, when it cooled off, productivity surged across the U.S. economy, giving rise to what’s often called the “productivity miracle.” From manufacturing to agriculture to retail, industry after industry became cheaper, faster, more mechanized, and more efficient. But the same can’t be said […]

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Are machines the answer to cheaper, higher quality homes? Ripon company bets on it

“Fully automated home framing is coming to the Central Valley, which could mean big savings for home buyers and builders in the future. The new Ripon-based business Entekra specializes in off-site wood framing for home construction. The company opened its offices and pilot manufacturing plant in the Central Valley city in early 2017 and has […]

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Are construction costs killing new Bay Area housing?

Even with apartment rents near record highs, rising construction costs and city fees are slowing down housing development around the Bay Area. In San Francisco, 4,500 new units were completed in 2017, down 14 percent for the year. Completions are expected to fall further based on the pipeline. . . . Developers are grappling with […]

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Home Solar Dims as Tesla, Others Curb Aggressive Sales

The number of U.S. homeowners putting solar panels on their roofs declined last year after leading installers including Tesla Inc. abandoned aggressive sales practices that had helped drive breakneck growth. Residential solar had been on a tear, averaging 49% annual growth between 2010 and 2016, but the number of megawatts added last year dropped by […]

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The Next Housing Crisis: A Historic Shortage of New Homes

America is facing a new housing crisis. A decade after an epic construction binge, fewer homes are being built per household than at almost any time in U.S. history. Home construction per household a decade after the bust remains near the lowest level in 60 years of record-keeping, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of […]

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Villaraigosa and Newsom want to build more houses in California than ever before. Experts see the candidates’ goal as an empty promise

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa both have said they want developers in California to build a half million homes in a year — something that’s never happened, at least in modern history. And they want builders to do it for seven straight years, resulting in 3.5 million new homes […]

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Construction Is Holding Back the Economy

But there’s a big problem with the U.S. construction industry — it costs way too much to build things. Productivity in construction has stagnated throughout much of the world. But in the U.S. it has done particularly poorly. In terms of value added per worker, construction-industry productivity has fallen by about a third since 1970. […]

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Hidden cost of housing: How a shortage of construction workers is making our crisis worse

As the Bay Area scrambles to find housing for its growing population, developers are running into another kind of shortage: There aren’t enough construction workers to build the homes the region needs. Builders throughout the area say they are struggling to recruit skilled laborers. Some bring in employees from Southern California or even Seattle, putting […]

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U.S. Housing Starts Grew In November

U.S. housing starts rose last month to the highest level in more than a year, driven by gains in single-family home building in the South and West.

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Homebuilders want high school students for construction jobs

Sacramento homebuilders are trying to deal with a severe shortage of construction workers by training high school students in summer internships. They want the teens and their parents to consider the possibility that a construction career might be a good alternative to college, though that can require some convincing. “There’s a negative stereotype about dirty jobs,” said Rick Larkey, executive director of the North State Building Industry Foundation. The group is leading the effort to recruit 5,000 new workers over five years in Sacramento, Placer, Yolo and El Dorado counties. A big part of that is the outreach to high-school students through internships and after-school programs.

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Report: Housing construction collapses in San Diego County

Homebuilding was down across Southern California in the first three months of 2017, but nowhere more than San Diego County, said a Real Estate Research Council report released Monday.

Residential building permits were down by 10 percent in the seven-county region compared to the same time last year and 37 percent in San Diego County.

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A tableau of suffering’: seaside city of San Diego faces a dark homelessness crisis

A recent count found a dramatic 104% increase in “tents and hand-built structures” located downtown, for a total of 418, compared to 2016. Driving through East Village, a gentrifying neighborhood on the edge of downtown, it’s tough to find a street that doesn’t have a tarp or tent – or dozens. People with neither tent nor tarp fashion makeshift shelters out of shopping carts, storage bins and blankets.

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Housing construction is on the rise in California, but it’s still not enough

Developers are now adding homes, relative to population growth, at a far higher pace than in recent years. But it’s still below what experts believe would be enough to keep up with California’s growing population, which topped 39.5 million last year.

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