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.
January Data Not So Clear on New Home Sales, But Consumers Intend to Buy
Jonathan Smoke / Hanley Wood / March 1, 2014
The first read of January new home sales from the Commerce Department was released last week. Economists had been expecting a decline of 3-4 percent from December on a seasonally adjusted basis, but instead a 10 percent increase was reported. That decline stood out compared to the existing home sales January report last week. Looking at the new data, Metrostudy’s more detailed traffic and sales data, and recent survey data on consumers’ plans to buy a home, we continue to expect that we will see a positive bounce once winter ends and the spring selling season begins in earnest. TheRead More
Initial January Starts and Permits Data Reflect Multiple Factors
Jonathan Smoke / HW.com / February 19, 2014
The Commerce Department reported initial data on permits and starts in January today, and the numbers appeared quite negative, but my take is that we are seeing the impact of multiple factors and none are factors that should cause any alarm for expectations for the year. Forecasters had been expecting declines in both permits and starts from December of 1 percent and 5 percent respectively. Instead, the month-over-month changes in the seasonally adjusted numbers were declines of 5.4 and 16 percent. To begin with, note that the December numbers were both revised upward. PermitsRead More
Brad Hunter / Metrostudy / October 30, 2013
Construction markets are showing signs of building momentum nationwide. Inquiries with architecture firms are up, construction spending is up, and inventories of new homes are dwindling but demand continues to rise. So what’s stopping you from diving in and taking your business to the next level?
If you’re like everyone else, you’re probably skiddish about the stability of the market. You’re still aching from the hangover of the recession. What’s going to get you back in the saddle? Metrostudy’s Brad Hunter spoke with HW.com about the lessonsRead More
Jean Dimeo / BUILDER / September 26, 2013
The recovery brought with it larger new houses. Why?
During the recession, many Americans—reeling from downsized paychecks and declining home values—scaled back their super-sized lifestyles. Sales of giant SUVs and four-door pickup trucks fell, new-home sizes shrunk, recent graduates moved back home with mom and dad, and newlyweds stayed in rental apartments. How quickly we forget the recent past.
Commerce Department data shows that the average size of a new home was 2,647 square feet during the second quarter of 2013, eclipsing the record of 2,561 square feet set in the first quarterRead More
Simon Hyoun / Hanley Wood / September 25, 2013
Let’s take as granted that most PowerPoint presentations are needlessly long and severely unattractive. Just thinking about the last one I sat through makes me reach furtively for my iPhone.
So why extend the pain of slide-based presentations by distributing them as an on-demand webinar? Instead, why not produce a simple, three-minute video that does the same job with more spontaneity, fun and visual elegance — at a comparable cost?
I’m talking about the whiteboard video, in which a subject-matter expert (SME) illustrates a concept on a dry-erase marker board. The best I’ve seenRead More
Jeffrey Lee / Hanley Wood Marketing / September 19, 2013
For content marketers, an editorial calendar is the ultimate stress reducer. Instead of scrambling to come up with a compelling topic when you have a newsletter to deliver or you’re overdue for a blog, you can simply pull up your strategically planned content calendar and get started.
But the forethought and planning that make editorial calendars such useful tools are also the traits that make them challenging to develop. Instead of just coming up with one enthralling article idea that you can use right now, you need to develop dozens of engrossing topics that will work throughout the yearRead More
Jonathan Smoke / Hanley Wood / September 18, 2013
The initial read on August permits and starts showed no evidence of single family construction being derailed by the increase in mortgage rates since May. Permits, which lead starts, were at a total level in line with most economists’ expectations. Single family permits were at the highest seasonally adjusted rate since May 2008. While the total starts number was down, the decline was caused by declines in the more volatile multi-family sector, and in fact single family starts were up 7% in August over July.
We work with more detailed market level permit data from the Census and fromRead More