I used to work for a HB and one thing I did realize was you couldn't get locals to do the work. And if you did they were all ex-cons or drugusers. True the Mexicans worked pretty hard and I did like them. I never saw any of them making 20 to 30 a hour though. If they were they sure were doing a good job at hiding it.
In Phoenix, we have a work force to build 40K homes a year. With 60K last year, and 60K+ this year we need more construction workers than ever. Framing companys drive job sites offering $1000 hiring bonuses and $2 to $5 an hour over whatever they're being paid - simply drop what you're doing and come work for us. Anyone who wants a job, can have one. But do you want to frame in the sun when it's 120 degrees? As a builder, when you're waiting 2+ months just to get a framing crew, waiting an extra 2 to 3 weeks each for stucco and drywall crews, you pay whatever the crews want. On another note - to the Shorts who consistently try to convince us that the sky is falling on Homebuilding. Last year and now this year. You're not self fullfilling your prophecy by your dumping pump. I've more respect for the corporate pumpers and the pump & dumpers. The reality is that, even after completely eliminating sales to investors, there simply isn't a way to build all of the homes already sold. Let me restate - My company builds 1000 homes a year, we do not sell to investors or second home buyers. We might be able to execute on 1100 homes this year. It's the end of February and we have 1050 in the pipeline to close in 2005. We need more hardworking Mexicans.
I agree we faced the same situation in Las Vegas last year. You guys in Phoenix are fixing to go through the same thing we did last year. Remember Las Vegas is also one of the fastest growing cities in the US and its housing market is stalled out right now. I got out of the business and found work in another sector, so I am done with homebuilding. I lived in the west valley in Phoenix and one thing I noticed is that there are not allot of good jobs in that city. I live in the mid-west now and the quality of jobs blows away Phoenix in my opinion. America West is now doing "C" checks on aircraft in El Salvador. Honeywell is outsourcing its APU work to Mexico. Motorola is outsourcing more jobs to Asia. The future of Luke AFB is in question now. Heck the west valley relies on Luke for economic growth. Most of the jobs in the west valley now are in construction. Everybody is speculating down there now. It is the same situation as Vegas last year. Last year when I was in Vegas we were all told about the 15,000 house backlog we had. Funny my friends have told me out there in Vegas that the list is pretty much gone. You better cash out now, because at least Las Vegas does have some jobs there. Phoenix doesn't. Have you been down to the AZ Center lately? What happened to all those businesses that were there a few years ago? They are all gone now.