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.
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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.