Category Archives: construction industry

Is Market Rebounding? Higher Bids for Public Works May Be a Sign

Tupelo Mississippi just ran into a problem: the bids that it solicited for its new aquatic center came in way too high…the lowest bidder placed a bid that was $1.4 million over budget.  Many times public works bid solicitations come in over budget because there are not enough bidders: that wasn’t the case in Tupelo, where six contractors placed a bid for the project, which was budgeted at $12 million dollars at max.

The Tupelo aquatic project is designed to put a 45,000-square-foot complex at Veterans Park. With submitted bids ranging from $13.4 million to $15.2 million, the city is now being forced to reject all bids and work with its architects to find a way to make the project less expensive.

While the larger than expected bids may not be great for Tupelo’s plans for a state of the art aquatic center, the bids may be a sign that construction companies are finally starting to find work again, and are basing their bids not just on keep revenue flowing, but also keeping profits healthy.  For years now, many construction companies have kept their prices low to get projects, needed cash, and keep workers.  But with that model, profits were often scuttled altogether in order to get the job.  Higher prices may be sign that those days are finally coming to an end, and the construction industry is on its way back to health.

Construction Activity Recedes in February 2012, Putting a Damper on a Hopeful Start to the Year

Despite a previously aggressive outlook from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, construction spending fell again for the second straight month in February of 2012.  In the second month of the year, construction spending fell by the largest amount in seven months. Widespread weakness in spending on home building, office construction and government projects was reported.
On Monday, April 2, 2012, the Commerce Department disclosed that construction spending fell 1.1 percent in February after dropping 0.8 percent in January.  Construction spending now stands at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $808.9 billion, which is 6.1 percent above the low hit in March 2011 and, but approximately one-third lower than the highs of the housing boom.
The recent report highlights the weakness in the nation’s construction industry, which was hit hard by the 2008 financial crisis, and has been one of the last industries to show any type of real recovery.

U.S. Predicts Growth in 2012

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PressureGovernment Predicts Growth Through 2013 

When the Bureau of Labor and Statistics released its forecast data for 2012 and 2013, it showed growth in both years. With a baseline forecast predicting growth of at least 1.6% in 2012 and 2.4% in 2013, the construction industry seems to be on the mend, barring a recession.

Positioning a company for growth may be something that is finally on the minds of contractors across the country.
For those that are looking to make sure that they receive payment for new or existing work, LienItNow can provide the notices to owner that are so necessary to preserve lien rights. For information on what needs to be done in your State, visit our FAQ section.

prelienConstruction Industry’s Size Still Hefty 
An interesting statistics for you to chew on: there are over 884,000 construction companies in the United States.
Of those companies, there are obviously many segments, including plumbers, electricians, drywall contractors, suppliers, heavy and civil engineering contractors, specialty trade contractors, and many, many more.
If you know how many companies exist in a certain segment, you can start to narrow in on the opportunities to find a potential job, or a potential customer.
Here are some quick numbers on the size of certain segments of the construction industry:
*269,700 Building Construction Contractors 
*57,600 Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction or Highway Contractors
*$557,000 Specialty Trade Contractors
*68% of all Construction Industry Companies employ fewer than 5 workers.
If you are dealing with a new company, we’ve added an additional credit check service to help you check them out.  Click here for more information on our credit checks 

move5 Ways to Get Paid  
The constant fight of getting paid never ends.  Here are 5 things to do to help speed the process along.
1. Always file a notice to owner (prelien or preliminary notice) at the beginning of the project, letting him know that you are on site and expect to be paid for the work you do.
2. Make sure you stay on top of your receivables: don’t allow payments to be more than 60 days past due without phone calls, emails and even formal letters.
3. If you are a subcontractor, make sure the owner knows you’re not getting paid.  If a stop notice is available in your State, get one out there.
4. Run a credit check before working with someone for the first time.
5. File a mechanics lien or construction lien BEFORE you hit the 75 day overdue mark.  The sooner you file, the more likely you are to get paid.
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Property Values Continue to Increase…But the Numbers Are Tricky

Today it was reported that the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Index rose 0.3 percent in January from December, seasonally adjusted.  This marks the index’s eighth consecutive monthly increase.

But the news was not all good.  Seasonal adjustment of data lifts the numbers in the winter months, when the number of home sales is usually much less than the rest of the year. On an unadjusted basis, the index actually fell 0.4 percent in January from December.

Increases in the number of house sales, and housing prices, were a result of homeowners attempting to close before the government’s $8,000 tax credit was scheduled to end Nov. 30. Though Congress extended the credit until April 30, it apparently did so too late, and the number of homes sold in the period after November 30 decreased markedly.

When taken with other housing indexes, the Case-Shiller Index’s numbers are not as comforting.  The First American CoreLogic Home Price Index dropped 1.9 percent in January, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s index dropped 0.6 percent in January.

Twelve of the cities in the Case-Shiller index went up in January from December. Los Angeles was the biggest gainer, up 1.7 percent. Chicago was the biggest loser, dropping 0.8 percent.

Want to know the best and worst cities in which to have owned real estate over the century’s first decade?  They are as follows:

The three best cities: Los Angeles, New York and Washington. All are more than 70 percent above their level in January 2000.

The worst-performing: Detroit, which is 28 percent below its January 2000 mark.  Michigan, in general, was not great place to buy a home. 

For more information, check out U.S. Home Prices Inch Up, But Worries Remain, and Case-Shiller Index Shows House Prices Rising 0.3 Percent.