MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – New homes are selling, and many hope it's a good sign for what's has been a lagging housing market.
Businesses, like construction companies, that have been struggling since the housing bust could have a glimmer of hope in 2013. In 2012, sales rose nearly 20 percent from 2011, to 367,000, the most since 2009, according the United States Commerce Department.
Many jobs depend on new home construction. When sales take off, it can put people back to work. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year, according to the National Association of Homebuilders. Owners of local plumbing companies and flooring companies report increased purchase orders and potential new contracts. Some say it's been at least four years since the last time they seriously considered adding new members to their staff.
"I haven't been able to get anyone else on as of yet, but especially with installers and outside sales, it's a big possibility, " said Sadie Parmly, owner of Italian Tiles in Myrtle Beach.
Billy Adams, who runs Adams and Son Plumbing Company, says he's also optimistic about hiring, adding, "Whatever it takes to get the job done."
Local real estate expert Blake Sloan says while the latest numbers point to an improving housing market, employers should keep in mind the industry is still in recovery mode. "We're still not out of the woods yet. The whole recovery as a whole, we're still very fragile," Sloan says.