Economist at World of Concrete show sees new-home starts rising

Single-family home construction starts nationwide will climb to 443,000 this year, a 3.26 percent increase from 2011, the chief economist of Portland Cement Association projected Tuesday at the World of Concrete trade show in Las Vegas.

That’s a conservative estimate from Ed Sullivan, who readily admits his construction forecasts are a bit more pessimistic than others. Last year, his prediction was 8,000 units short.

The Mortgage Bankers Association is projecting 474,000 home starts in 2012, the National Association of Realtors pegs the number at 480,000 and the National Association of Home Builders is most optimistic at 495,000 starts.

"The only reason anyone builds a home is the prospect of making money. You can’t make money if there’s too much inventory out there and prices continue to decline," Sullivan said at World of Concrete, which runs through Friday with more than 50,000 attendees and 1,300 exhibitors at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

As long as foreclosures are competing with new-home sales, recovery in the housing industry will drag on, Sullivan said. Foreclosures may begin to decline this year after adjustable-rate mortgages are reset, he suggested.

Some 768,000 metric tons of concrete will be used for single-family home starts this year, Sullivan predicted. Overall, cement consumption will remain at less than 70 million metric tons this year, with 5 percent gains in 2013 and 2014.

On the exhibit floor, Gary Brown of Toronto-based AMVIC Building Systems said he’s seeing "little ticks here and there" that show the economy is starting to rebound. The custom-home market, where people have money, is picking up, he said.

The housing industry has been in a severe downturn for the last few years, but there are some positives that come out of it, Brown said.

"Homeowners and builders are forced to look at how to build," he said. "Oil costs and heating costs are going up. People need to look at how to build residential or commercial property that’s energy-efficient and sustainable, that they can afford to pay for heating and air conditioning and it isn’t going to get blown away when a tornado or hurricane comes around."

AMVIC manufactures insulated concrete forms, which reduce energy use, speed construction and resist fire and mold.

Nonresidential construction is starting to find the floor, Sullivan said. He was surprised by a double-digit percentage gain in retail construction, a large user of concrete.

Still, Sullivan remains pessimistic in his commercial construction forecast. Office vacancy exceeds 15 percent nationwide, forcing lower lease rates. Higher office employment equates to lower vacancy rates, he said.

"Jobs, jobs, jobs. That will determine the growth rate in the economy and also shorten the healing process," Sullivan said. "The more jobs, the more recovery at the state level, the more construction spending."

Steve Guillaume, vice president and general manager for International Truck and Continental Mixer, said he’d like to see Congress act on the federal highway bill, though he said it will be difficult to see anything happen before the presidential election.

"There will probably be some sustained spending as a stopgap, but until the election, you won’t see a multiyear spending bill get passed," he said. "They need to do something. It’s a job creation thing. Infrastructure is important. I’d see it as a positive."

The current spending level is significantly below what’s needed, said Brian McCarthy, president and chief executive officer of the Skokie, Ill.-based Portland Cement Association.

The House has proposed a six-year, $235 billion bill; the Senate has suggested a two-year, $109 billion measure.

"If we want long-term investment in infrastructure," he said, "we need Congress and the White House aligned on what those long-term needs are and the investment has to have the right performance criteria and that’s when a careful life-cost analysis becomes relative."

Contact reporter Hubble Smith at hsmith@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0491.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like