Although the Census Bureau reported this week that housing starts are up and the National Association of Home Builders said builder confidence is growing, not all builders are enjoying an increase in work. This story gives some local color to those national numbers, revealing that New Jersey home builders have mixed opinions on the supposed upturn.

A quick check with builders and remodelers across the six Northern New Jersey counties represented by the Metropolitan Builders & Contractors Association of New Jersey (Metro) finds that many of them reflect optimistic housing numbers coming out this week. But some don’t.

For instance, Bob Mazzola, of Atrium Development Co., says he’s building the same number of homes this month as last: zero. He says good lots are hard to find and current banking practices make them too restrictive for the builder and the consumer. Other builders are finding that they’ve chosen to work in a market that isn’t recovering as well as others. Philip Deacon, of Deacon Homes, says his area of Sussex County “is deplorable.” He has chosen to sit on several approved and improved lots.

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