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Demand for housing insatiable

Posted by on June 6, 2016 at 7:49 AM | 0 Comments

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Every time one of our presidential candidates laments the sorry state of the US economy I know they have not visited Sheboygan County.

Here, our big problems are having too many job openings and too much interest in housing by people who want to come here and participate in our growing economy. As problems go, Sheboygan County has the good ones.

One area where Sheboygan County is growing off the charts is in housing. Rental units are going fast and preliminary data suggests that single-family homes are appreciating faster than in most of the US.

The good news for renters is that more apartment complexes are coming. Those include multifamily buildings in the Town of Sheboygan, the City of Plymouth and the City of Sheboygan. We expect around 500 new units in all.

In downtown Sheboygan we expect more than 200 rental units to be ready by mid-2017. If this housing was single-family homes being built on one-third acre lots, it would be the equivalent to a 100-acre subdivision of $200,000 homes. That influx of housing will be within a small eight-block area in downtown Sheboygan County, fundamentally changing the function, culture and vibrancy of downtown for a generation.

The county’s healthy economy means we will need hundreds of additional rental units every year from now on to accommodate the people who will come to Sheboygan to fill the open positions.

The need for owner-occupied housing is just as dramatic. Virtually every time an announcement is made that new residential rental housing is being constructed somewhere in Sheboygan County, we get a flurry of phone calls.

“Are those going to be owner-occupied units?” the callers always ask. Almost always the callers are hoping they will be condo units rather than apartments. Now our attention will turn to encouraging development of condos.

News is getting out that Sheboygan County is the place to go for good jobs in a variety of categories - roughly 3,500 job postings are listed on - and in order to pursue those positions many people want to know what their home ownership options are.

The competition for single-family homes for sale is fierce. Many homes are getting snapped up quickly - and at asking price. Home builders are also expected to be busy this year as demand for new-construction appears be outpacing their ability to build homes. Homebuilders are not immune to the local labor shortage.

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