Housing Slump Hits West Coast; Clean Air Rules Raise OptimismAugust 2007
Article Date: 08-01-2007
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California's housing market slump is dramatically affecting some dealers and rental companies.
Roseville-based Cones Equipment Rental in Northern California says work has dried up.
"It's so dead in Northern California," says owner Ron Cones. "We have absolutely nothing working."
A majority of Cones' work comes from renting large construction equipment to home builders. But the slowdown in the housing market is forcing Cones to look elsewhere for work, including out of state.
Cones has dropped his rental rates to meet the fierce competition, and pay the bills and remain in business.
Things in Southern California are a little better for Temecula-based Rebel Rents.
Housing has slowed, observes Doug Fleury, fleet manager for Rebel, "but we're getting a lot of business from people who are remodeling," he said.
Plus, rentals in commercial work continue to grow in Southern California, catching up to the wave of residential building that has occurred in the region, says Fleury.
Rebel Rents is also monitoring the status of proposed rules by California state air quality officials that, if adopted, would force construction companies to replace large portions of their construction fleets with machines that have more modern, cleaner-burning engines.
"It will force people to rent more to be compliant," Fleury said.
-Joe Florkowski is assistant editor of California Construction magazine.
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