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Top Secret Information Revealed
Frank Anton / Hanley Wood / April 22, 2013
When it comes to housing, I’m an information junkie. Want proof?
I regularly collect housing reports, and I don’t just collect the reports, I read them. Why? Well, I’m looking for data points and analysis that will make me more confident that I really know where housing is headed. Lately, most of what I’ve read suggests that housing is headed in the right direction, and I was feeling pretty good. But then this week I was surprised to read that NAHB’s Homebuilder’s Index, which basically indicates whether builders are optimistic or pessimistic, took a dip. A small dip, but a dip nonetheless.
Housing analysts for the most part dismissed the dip, saying builders were really only reacting to higher prices for materials and land and spot labor shortages. Still, I was a little discouraged. That is, until I found this one sheet of paper in Hanley Wood’s March for-my-eyes-only budget report. But for your sake, I’ll break my vow of secrecy. The report showed that the two parts of Hanley Wood’s business that had shown the first signs of weakness when the market slowed and had taken the biggest drop when the market hit bottom were, for the first time in years, outperforming budget by far and were up substantially year-over-year.
The two businesses are data and home plan sales to builders. Builders only buy both when they’re ready to build, which leads me to believe, more strongly than ever, that, yes, housing really is headed in the right direction. Feel free to share that information.
See and hear Frank Anton’s views via our Frank Talk Video Webcast.