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.
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
Bill Gates / The Gates Notes / June 2014
The car I drive to work is made of around 2,600 pounds of steel, 800 pounds of plastic, and 400 pounds of light metal alloys. The trip from my house to the office is roughly four miles long, all surface streets, which means I travel over some 15,000 tons of concrete each morning.
Once I’m at the office, I usually open a can of Diet Coke. Over the course of the day I might drink three or four. All those cans also add up to something like 35 pounds of aluminum a year.
I got to thinking about all this after reading Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization, by my favorite author, the historianRead More
Les Shaver / BUILDER / November 7, 2014
By almost any standard, 2014 has been a disappointment for home builders. As of October, starts were up only 2 percent compared with 2013; sales volume rose about 7 percent; and home prices ticked up roughly 5 percent, according to Metrostudy.
On the surface, home builders looked like the victims of these trends, but Dave Goldberg, an analyst for UBS in New York, thinks they also played an active role in their own loss of momentum. Aside from some moves like Miami-based Lennar Corp.’s increasing realtor sales commissions and Fort Worth, Texas–based D.R. Horton’s push into the entry-levelRead 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