Last year (and the year before), my vacant land buyers were having a terrible time trying to find northwest Wisconsin builders who would take on new clients.
High prices for lumber and other building materials, coupled with high demand for tradespeople and construction subs who would build in Ashland and Bayfield counties. Some of these builders wouldn't return phone calls or emails.
As recently as six months ago, one builder told me he would only build three homes at a time. But things now appear to be changing.
Several of the same "busy, busy" builders I've spoken with have changed their tune lately. The "three builds at a time" guy confided in me around Thanksgiving that his moderately-priced builds are canceling left and right. His subs are willing to drive two hours or more to do excavation work, pour concrete or to frame a house.
Another guy stopped me on the way back to the Minneapolis & Saint Paul area to stuff a few business cards in my hand and remind me that he's taking new clients now.
We're even encountering builders who are willing to negotiate prices on new builds. This kind of talk is probably in the early stages and it may go further as buyers cancel orders and rising interest rates continue to bring pressure on construction firms.