Portland, Oregon, building boom to bring plywood-decked homes to area

Portland, Ore.

(AP) Construction is heating up in the Portland area as a booming boom for plywood and other building materials is creating a new market for homeowners who can afford the high prices and construction times required to build.

The plywood boom, which is driven by a boom in home construction and a housing bust, is expected to create a new $8.5 billion industry in the first quarter of 2020, according to the Oregon Department of Commerce.

The industry, which includes construction, home improvement and lumbering, employs about 6,500 people, according a report last year by the Oregon Association of Builders.

“It’s an opportunity for homeowners to build in the city and also get the added benefit of being able to move to a city without having to drive all the way across town,” said Mark Hetrick, executive director of the Oregon Building Industry Association.

Home builders are increasingly looking for buyers with more experience in building plywood homes.

“If you have a lot of experience, you can build better plywood,” said Tom Fritsch, owner of Fritsche Construction in Portland.

“And it takes less time to build it.”

Homebuilding has been a mainstay of Portland’s economy, with about 5,000 people employed in the industry.

Construction workers and laborers make up about 20 percent of the city’s population, according the city.

Portland’s population has grown to about 6 million since 2010, the last year of a recession, according Census data.

That number has more than doubled to about 9 million people since the recession, and is projected to increase by about 1 million people a year through 2045.

Portland has had more construction jobs than any other city in the U.S. in the past five years.

Homebuilders have been able to capitalize on the city having more construction sites and more people working in the area.

“When you have an area that’s really growing and you can go into a city, the price of a house, especially with the cost of living, that can really be a factor for someone to choose to build here,” said Hetricks partner, Peter Fritchen, of Fruchtsch.

“So we really have this opportunity for people to build where they can get the most bang for their buck.”

The boom in construction, along with an uptick in the number of people seeking work as workers for companies like the construction industry, has pushed home prices to new highs in the last few years.

The median home price in Portland was $350,000 in the fourth quarter of last year, according with a recent report by real estate research firm Zillow.

The price of homes in the suburbs of Portland have also skyrocketed since the economic downturn, rising more than 10 percent over the same time period.

But prices in the center of the region have remained relatively stable.

Prices in Portland averaged $245,000 during the last three years.

But there is an opportunity to sell the homes at their current price, said Fritch.

“I think we’re going to be able to sell a lot more,” he said.

Hetrik says he expects the new market to grow as more and more builders are hiring.

“A lot of builders are just now seeing the boom, and I think we’ll see a lot, if not a lot.”

Hetrich has had two homes built on his lot since he bought the house in 2009.

He says he can’t wait to see how many people choose to buy and live in his house.

“This is a place that’s been built over and over again,” Hetriks said.

“The only reason why people can’t move here is because of our cost of doing business and our cost to live here.”