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March 01, 2012 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-03-01

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become a Mentor


A small amount of your time can make an impact!

The Waterford School District is recruiting volunteers ages 21 and older to

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a year long commitment to the student.

If You Build It • • •
Will They Buy?

Housing forecast is improving but
still has a way to go.

Harry Kirsbaum
Contributing Writer


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economic forecast-
ers gave somewhat good
news to a group of build-
ers and renovators, a new execu-
tive committee was sworn in, and
four Jews received awards during
a Building Industry Association of
Southeastern Michigan meeting in
Sterling Heights on Feb 15.
Edsel Charles, chairman
of the Franklin, Tenn.-based
MarketGraphics Research Group,
has been doing new-home mar-
ket research in 21 states including
Michigan. Every four months, his
company has done a physical, lot-
by-lot audit of 1,100 subdivisions in
Southeast Michigan. Based on his
findings, Charles, who predicted the
May 2009 mortgage market melt-
down in May 2000, said that inves-
tors and homeowners will not recov-
er the lost value of assets, including
homes, until May 2014, "but Detroit
may take longer."
David Crowe, PhD, chief econo-
mist of the Washington D.C.-based
National Association of Home
Builders, agreed without attaching
a date.
Last year started slow and
slumped in early fall, but improved
toward the end of the year, he said.
Builders' confidence latest number
is 29 compared to the boom years
when the number was in the 70s, "so
we're a long way off from a comfort
level, but we've had five straight
months of increase, and that hasn't
happened for a very long time:'
Crowe said.
Nationally, new home sales last
year of 203,000 "were the worst ever
so clearly there is nowhere to go but
up," he said. "It will be a slow climb
and even at the end of 2013, we
won't be back to where we should be,
but we'll be well on our way, and that
will induce housing starts once we
get those sales going and replace the
inventory that we sold. We're looking
at a 17 percent increase in hous-
ing starts in 2012 and a 37 percent
increase in 2013."
Although he said that 2011 was
the worst year in terms of single-
family starts since 1942, Crowe said

that Detroit should see about 4,700
housing starts in 2013.
He said that the number of fore-
closures is decreasing, and there has
been a relative decline of mortgages
in distress for a couple of years, with
the exception of a few concentrated
"In most places I can make that
comment and people will feel better:'
he said. "Unfortunately, Michigan is
one of those concentrations!'
There is some good news, though.
Of the 360 metropolitan areas
in the United States, Detroit was
one of 98 metro areas that steadily
improved in house prices, employ-
ment and housing permits in the
last six months, he said.
The deepness of the economic
mess locally was driven home by
Crowe's next statement.
"Although we are recovering,
Michigan is still on the lower end of
the spectrum because of how far we
fell," he said. Annual production in
Michigan dropped to 10 percent of
normal at its lowest point, he said.
In comparison, the annual produc-
tion in North Dakota dropped to
75 percent of normal at its lowest
"Michigan's recovery will be dif-
ferent because the collapse was
different," he said. "Except for some
miracle, the climb out of the trough
will be at the same level so it's going
to take longer to get to the top!'

Jewish Builders Honored
Al Kligman of Superb Homes Inc.
was inducted into the Building
Industry Association Hall of Fame.
Kligman of
Northville gradu-
ated from Wayne
State College in
1955, obtained his
builder's license
and built his first
house in Sterling
Township in 1956.
He changed the
name of his compa-
ny from Kligman Homes to Superb
Homes Inc. in 1962 and has spent
the rest of his career living up to the
name. He and his wife, Audrey, have
three children and seven grandchil-

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