New home construction on the rise in Wisconsin

One local contractor says business has been steady all year

The Wisconsin housing market is not only holding steady, it’s actually gaining momentum.

Sales of existing homes have risen 17 percent in July, compared to a year ago The rate of building new homes is also going strong.

For the first time since 2008, builders have broken ground on more 1,000 homes in Wisconsin for three consecutive months, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.       

One local contractor said business is steadily improving with no end in sight.

Mike Reschke started his own home contracting business, North Country Contractors, in 1999.

Being in the housing business so long, he’s seen the ups and the downs, doing anything to get by when the housing market tanked around 2007.

“We were doing a lot more additions, remodels, garages and decks, you name it to keep people busy,” said Reschke.

Fastforward to 2015 and Reschke said the market has phased back into building new homes.

“It’s been good. I can’t complain, we have had steady work,” said Boston Goodenough.

Goodenough has been a carpenter on Reschke’s crew for about three years.

“Started right out of high school and working up the ladder,” said Goodenough.

Although Goodenough is only three years into his career, he said he’s already seen the market change.

“When I started we did about five homes that year and the next year it jumped to eight or nine and now we are aiming at nine this year,” said Goodenough.

“It’s been pretty steady the last two years straight,” said Reschke.

Reschke said they have been building nonstop since they dug their first home this year on March 20.

“It’s been pretty much one after the other throughout the whole year so far and we have four more homes to do this year yet,” said Reschke.

Economists say the increased demand for houses in Wisconsin has to do with the unemployment rate and the rebounding economy. Whatever it is, both Goodenough and Reschke hope it continues.

“We build something to make people happy and it makes us happy,” said Goodenough.

“I think most builders in the area are doing well and staying busy, which is a nice thing to see,” said Reschke.

Along with an increase in new homes being built, the Wisconsin Realtors Association said the median price of a home sold in the state has increased by almost 4 percent.

If you would like more information on the latest building trends, Parade of Homes continues this weekend. On Thursday and Friday, the tour runs from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. It continues Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and children under 3 get in for free. Click here for a map of the houses taking part in the tour.