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.
Bradley Hunter / Metrostudy / August 25, 2014
Last month’s miserable reading for New Home Sales (as measured by government trackers in June) was revised upward as we expected, but the July number fell 2.4%. This decline is relatively modest, and the stated confidence interval for the 2.4% drop was plus or minus 11.9%, which means that the government isn’t sure whether new home sales actually rose or fell.
In order to understand what is going on, let’s take a look at what we are hearing around the country. Builders were mostly unimpressed by the spring selling season, which we predicted would be “good, but not great.” The summerRead More
Paul Winans / Remodeling / August 21, 2014
“The customer is always right” is an axiom that has been around for at least 100 years. The basic idea is that a business should more or less bend over backwards to do whatever the business needs to do to satisfy the customer.
I am not sure if that is the best way to succeed in business. Rather, I would suggest a business needs to make sure that it only works with customers who think the business is right.
What do I mean by that? One of the most dangerous aspects of being in a service business such as remodeling is the client selection process. Make a wrong decision at this juncture and your business canRead More
Brad Hunter / Metrostudy / August 18, 2014
Housing starts numbers out today surprised many observers with its strength (+15.7%), but we find it to have been in line with our actual counts, released earlier this month. As we predicted, last month’s Census estimate was revised upward, and now the numbers are back in line with the trends revealed by the Metrostudy roll-ups.
The last release of housing starts data from the Census Bureau caused undue alarm about a collapse of activity in the South. The Census release had shown a 29.6% decline for total starts in the South, but as we pointed out at the time, this exaggerated the weakness inRead More
John McManus / Builder / August 18, 2014
Housing’s recovery pattern, well-established over the past 18 months, since the downturn’s most dire days shook the cosmos in the latter half of the last decade, has virtually irrefutable definition. With the exception of a handful of markets fuel-injected by energy- and tech-driven jobs growth, the “rebound,” such that it is, has confined itself to places thick with people who are moving, purchasing, and buying new because they can rather than because they need to.
As a result, other than in those exceptional jobs-growth markets–Texas, Florida, Georgia,Read More
Brad Hunter / Metrostudy / August 11, 2014
We have been talking for years about the lot shortages that builders are facing. Now, it’s time to talk about how many lots are being developed. Builders and developers are now playing “catch-up,” with builders buying land and lots and developers/investors paving roads and putting in infrastructure to serve the builders’ needs at a frenetic pace.
The pace of lot delivery (completion, ready for the builder) has gone up 140% in the past two years, much faster than the pace of housing production has risen (+84%). Despite this increased pace, lot development STILL lags the pace ofRead More