Salem building picks up

Salem area home builders see signals that the long slump in their industry might be coming to an end.

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Tax credits for first-time home buyers and low interest rates have brought buyers back into the market. Business financing remains a big problem for builders, but those who can get loans are hammering away on new projects and selling houses.

“This is the first time it’s felt good to be a homebuilder in probably two years,” said Jubal Frost of JDC Homes LLC, a Newberg-based builder who has built homes in the Salem area for 12 years. The company has nine houses under construction, including three that have been pre-sold, he said.

In the past six months, JDC has sold 20 houses.

“I truly believe we have hit bottom and we’re starting to come out,” said Mike Erdmann, the executive vice president of the Home Builders Association of Marion and Polk Counties.

Builders don’t expect a rapid recovery, he said, but an uptick in building permits has given the industry hope.

Read the full story in the Statesman Journal.