2011 Jun 11, 4:20pm
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Only a couple of years ago the demand for sheetrock was so extreme that we were importing "junk" sheetrock from China, with well-known problems. Now the demand for sheetrock is so low that the entire company town of Empire, Nevada, is closing down.
USG, known for its Sheetrock-brand products, has posted losses of about $1.5 billion over the past three years. The red ink is a result of "weak market conditions and extraordinarily low shipping volumes," former chief executive William C. Foote told investors in October. Beneath the jargon is a simpler story: What Empire makes is not in high demand anymore. The housing construction slump has continued too long for the plant to hold on. By the end of 2010, wallboard sales had dropped more than 50 percent since 2006, when the industry peaked and USG had $297 million in profits.
Yet somehow the materials cost to build doesn't decrease.
and every inch of the inside of all new homes is covered in it. the value of construction and quality of materials used over the past decades to build homes could not be any lower.
bow in honor when you walk past older craftsman style houses.
not only did prices go up but quality of construction went down. total value and worth caved over the last 20 years like never before. Not being able to grasp this fact is really what makes current buyers so ignorant IMO.
Construction quality is one reason why I didn't mind buying an older house. Sure I don't have walk-in closets and a bathroom the size of a bedroom but I know in another 30 years the house will still be standing. I can't say that about some of the new houses I looked at.
Yet somehow the materials cost to build doesnâ€™t decrease.
I have noticed this as well. Presumably demand for construction materials in China, etc is making up for the difference.