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Coronavirus In Ohio: Homebuilding Industry Prepares For Long-Term Fallout

In this Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015 photo, builder Janez Bratkovic prepares to put in a header on a new home construction in Pepper Pike, Ohio.
Tony Dejak
/
Associated Press
In this Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015 photo, builder Janez Bratkovic prepares to put in a header on a new home construction in Pepper Pike, Ohio.

The coronavirus, and its potential influence on contracts, was the topic of conversation at a digital meeting Wednesday between about 30 homebuilders and the Building Industry Association of Central Ohio.

So far, the industry has not seen significant negative impact from the pandemic. Executive director Jon Melchi says that’s in part because residential construction was deemed an essential business in Ohio's stay-at-home order.

But the longer this goes on, Melchi says, the higher potential there is for economic fallout.

“I think where the building and development community is likely to be impacted for sure because of this is in projects that were supposed to come online in 2021,” Melchi says.

He says many prospective zoning and planning meetings have been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak. That means builders could lose out on future projects.

“So things are being shelved for a couple of months at a time,” Melchi says. “It already takes an awful long time to get plans approved and developments going.”

Less people are inquiring about homes and visiting right now. Melchi says the current economic situation could lead more people in the future to consider home ownership.

“With the stay at home order, people are thinking more about their homes and the importance of a place to call home than maybe they would otherwise,” Melchi says.

Melchi says many in the industry are looking to re-assess after Memorial Day next month.