Site Prep Contractors

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 36,700 site preparation contractors in the US prepare land for construction activity. Services include excavation work; wrecking and demolition; trenching; sewer and water main installation; construction machinery rental (with operator); and road construction. While private sector projects account for the majority of revenue, site prep contractors also provide services to federal, state, and local governments.

Dependence On General Contractors

Because site preparation is just part of the construction process, companies often depend on general contractors to secure client business.

Seasonal And Weather-Related Factors

Seasonality and weather conditions affect project timelines and site prep contractors’ ability to perform work.

Industry size & Structure

The average site preparation contractor operates out of a single location, employs 9-10 workers, and generates about $2-3 million annually.

    • The site preparation services industry consists of about 36,700 companies that employ 352,900 workers and generate about $97 billion annually.
    • The industry is fragmented; most site preparation contractors serve a limited geographical market.
    • Some large general contractors, such as Granite Construction and Sterling Construction, offer site preparation services in addition to other construction services.
                            Industry Forecast
                            Site Prep Contractors Industry Growth
                            Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                            Recent Developments

                            Mar 16, 2023 - Home Builder Sentiment Improves
                            • Tight existing home inventories are pushing buyers into the new home market, which helped move home builder confidence higher in March, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Home builder sentiment, as measured by the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), rose two points to 44 in March 2022 2022, although the HMI remained in bearish territory. Any HMI reading over 50 indicates more builders see conditions as good than poor. While stress in the US financial system pushed mortgage interest rates down, affordability is still a significant roadblock to homeownership for many. The NAHB said a side effect of the increased pressure on regional banks will be a further tightening of acquisition, development, and construction (AD&C) loans for home builders. In March’s HMI survey, 40% of builders rated lot availability as poor.
                            • Mortgage rates dipped slightly after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, but housing industry watchers are uncertain if lower rates will persist long enough to provide much relief from the affordability issues that have slowed the US housing market, according to Yahoo Finance. Some financial market watchers note that the banking sector's jitters could slow the Federal Reserve’s strategy of taming inflation with rate hikes. Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather told Yahoo Finance, “There's still a lot of uncertainty but in the near term, I do expect mortgage rates to drop. And I expect buyers to take advantage of those mortgage rates because we've seen buyers be incredibly sensitive to those interest rates.” However, some industry insiders suggest that rates would need to drop and stay low for a sustained period to lure more buyers into the market.
                            • Nonresidential construction firms’ backlogs increased in February, according to the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). The ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator rose to 9.2 months in February, up from 9 months in January. Backlogs were also up year over year compared to February 2022’s 8.0 months. February’s backlog gains were led by the heavy industrial segment, which rose to 10.4 months from 8.4 in January. The infrastructure segment’s backlog grew from 8.6 months in January to 10 months in February. The commercial and industrial backlog rose from 9.2 months to 9.4 months over the same period. Amid stronger backlog growth, ABC’s Construction Confidence Index for sales climbed to 61.2 in February over January’s reading of 60.7. A Confidence Index sales reading of 50 or more indicates that most contractors are optimistic about sales.
                            • Multifamily developer confidence improved in the fourth quarter of 2022 but remained in negative territory, according to February’s Multifamily Market Survey (MMS) report by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The Multifamily Production Index (MPI) rose two percentage points in Q4 to 34 compared to the third quarter of 2022. The Multifamily Occupancy Index increased by four points to 49 over the same period. An MPI or MOI reading of 50 or more indicates that multifamily production or occupancy, respectively, is growing. While multifamily housing demand is robust, supply is catching up with demand in some markets. The NAHB expects multifamily production will slow significantly over the next two years after rapid growth in 2022. Developers face several challenges, including high regulatory costs, difficulty securing new project financing, and high interest rates.
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