Friday, August 04, 2006

In Come The Waves: Home Builder Layoffs Commence

I believe this is the first media report of local home builder layoffs since I began this blog back in January. For an excellent article about just how much the housing industry is embedded in the Sacramento economy, click here.

From the Sonoma Press Democrat:

Feeling the blow from the housing market's downturn, Christopherson Homes is laying off 18 percent of its employees over the next three to six months, company officials said Thursday. Sonoma County's largest home builder will lay off 25 to 30 workers in a range of jobs at both its Santa Rosa headquarters and its Sacramento division.

"We hope this downturn will be short-lived but we will continue to make adjustments deemed necessary," said George Casey, the company's chief executive officer...

Five years ago, the company opened a division in Roseville to expand into the Sacramento market as home building boomed in the Central Valley. But a strong, eight-year run of sales peaked last year, hitting first in Sacramento and then in Sonoma County and the market has been coming back down. Christopherson has slowed housing starts in response.

"Climbing interest rates, increases in energy costs and longstanding affordability issues in California's metropolitan areas are all factors that have combined to slow the market down. Christopherson Homes is not immune from macroeconomic trends," Casey said...

At Christopherson, layoffs will be made across the board, including production supervisors and workers in land acquisition and permitting, purchasing and sales. The layoffs will total between 25 and 30 and should be divided equally between the Santa Rosa headquarters and the Sacramento-area division. Christopherson has 120 employees in Santa Rosa and 30 in Roseville, Casey said. "You keep adjusting your overhead to your level of operations," he said.
Hat tip: Ben Jones

Related posts:
Real Estate Agents (and here)
Mortgage Industry (and here)
Service Industry


rocklin renter said...

A couple of weeks ago, my boss and I had lunch at at a Roseville restaurant, and at the table next to us was a group of 12 or so employees from John Laing Homes (or so their shirts said).

I remarked to my boss - "I'd bet more than half of those people are unemployed by the end of the year". He replied: "sad, but probably true".

Anonymous said...

I'm sure your conclusion is correct. This is going to be a difficult next few years. I've adopted an approach to debt reduction and saving (as opposed to spending) so that I will have money for investing and a financial statement for borrowing when 2010 arrives. My sense is those who are following my approach will be in a good position to cherry pick real property assets then.

Anonymous said...

I'm a superintendent for a large builder. we have projects in the bay area, lincoln and El dorado Hills. I just came back from a meeting where we were told that the "belt tightening" (layoffs) were about to begin. Our subs are laying guys off like crazy- this looks like the 90's all over again- I think its gonna be worse.