News & Opinions
The latest news and insights from Hanley Wood’s outspoken experts and key thought-leaders throughout the residential and commercial design and construction industry.
Construction Materials Prices Dip in October
Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. / November 18, 2014
October marked the fifth consecutive month during which construction input prices have failed to rise. Inputs to construction industries were down 0.9 percent for the month but expanded 1 percent on a year-over-year basis, according to a Nov. 17 producer price index (PPI) release from the U.S. Department of Labor. Inputs to nonresidential construction fell 1.1 percent for the month but are 0.5 percent higher than at the same time last year. “This deflation in an array of commodities should be viewed positively for the economy as well as for nonresidential construction,” said AssociatedRead More
Single-Family Home Size Leveling Off as Market Recovers
Robert Dietz / Eye on Housing / November 19, 2014
The average size of newly built single-family homes has declined for two consecutive quarters as the overall housing market recovers. Despite the recent leveling, current new home sizes reflect post-recession increases due to an atypical mix of home buyers. As more first-time buyers return to the market, typical home size will continue to post slight quarterly declines. According to third quarter 2014 data from the Census Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design and NAHB analysis, average single-family square floor area decreased from 2,651 toRead More
Associated Builders and Contractors Inc / October 30, 2014
Nonresidential fixed investment grew 5.5 percent in the third quarter after expanding 9.7 percent in the second quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ Oct. 30 gross domestic product (GDP) report. It has now expanded by greater than 5 percent in four of the past five quarters. In addition, investment in equipment increased 7.2 percent, while investment in nonresidential structures increased 3.8 percent.
Real gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 3.5 percent (seasonally adjusted annual rate) during the third quarter, following a 4.6 increase in the second quarter.
Stephen Melman / Eye on Housing / October 31. 2014
Spurred by improved consumer expectations, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index reached its highest level since July 2007, and the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased sharply. This 3-month moving average charts both surveys.
The Consumer Sentiment Index increased to 86.9 in October from 84.6 the previous month. The survey’s measure of consumer expectations increased to 79.6 in October from 75.4 in September.Read More
Neil Brown / CMA / October 24, 2014
The goal of any construction firm or contractor is develop a loyal customer base. You want to be the first person or company a customer will think of and go to when they have a project that needs to be completed.These loyal clients will trust you and will give you contract after contract at your price.
The construction industry is full of competition, especially as the industry is slowly recovering. Most of your competition are excellent firms or contractors in their own right. They oftenRead More
American Institute of Architects / October 22, 2014
With all geographic regions and building project sectors showing positive conditions, there continues to be a heightened level of demand for design services signaled in the latest Architecture Billings Index (ABI). As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the September ABI score was 55.2, up from a mark of 53.0 in August. This score reflects an increase in design activity (any score above 50 indicatesRead More
David Crowe / Eye on Housing / October 16, 2014
Builder sentiment as measured by the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index fell five points in October to a level of 54. Any value above 50 means more builder see the market favorably over those who see unfavorable conditions. The drop was from a 9 year high of 59 in August and returns the index to summer 2014 levels.
Conditions across markets continue to vary with some markets, notably those in the oil and energy belt, continuing with positive outlooks whereas markets struggling where employment trends have not been as strong. Builders continue to note shortages of buildable lots and a scatteredRead More