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.
Urban Renewal Often Comes One Neighborhood At A Time
Jennifer Goodman/ BUILDER / November 12, 2014
Julilly Kohler’s commitment to community activism stems from her family tree. Her grandfather, Walter, son of Kohler Co. founder John Michael, was a visionary community planner in addition to helping run the family business. Julilly grew up in Kohler Village, the town Walter founded with the help of famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Built in 1913 to house factory workers, it was one of the country’s first planned communities and its small town charm is still enjoyed today by residents, tourists, and employees of the giant plumbing manufacturer. “My grandfather hadRead More
Housing Affordability Slightly Lower in Third Quarter
Rose Quint / Eye On Housing / November 13, 2014
Firming home prices in markets across the country contributed to a slight dip in nationwide housing affordability in the third quarter of 2014, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI). In all, 61.8 percent of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of July and the end of September were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $63,900. The HOI in the second quarter was 62.6 percent. The national median home price increased from $214,000 in the second quarter to $221,000 in the third quarter, while average mortgageRead 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