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.
New, Detailed Housing Starts Data
Brad Hunter / Metrostudy / April 30, 2013
Here is a brief “advance” note looking at our brand-new data for first quarter. We are seeing evidence of strong housing demand all around the country (relative to a year ago).
These are from our proprietary in-field counts. The number in all cases is the 1Q 2013 total housing starts followed by the prior year, 1Q 2012, outcome. There were increases versus three months ago, too, but the percent changes I’m citing here are year over year.
The other interesting story on new home sales is that more and more builders are saying that they are raising prices in order to (deliberately) slow down sales. The builders who are running out of lots in a given project, and who do not have a replacement project to ‘roll into,’ want to sell their last homes at a slow pace, but a high profit.
Also, with regard to the Builder Confidence index that came out recently, despite assertions by some commentators that builders are worried about lower traffic and slower sales, my take is that the low readings on builder confidence relate more to concerns about lot costs and labor shortages! If sales are slowing, for most of the builders I have talked with, it is expected.