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.
Frank Anton / BUILDER / April 3, 2013
The housing industry could use a modern-day version of the original king of low-cost housing.
Not surprisingly the homeownership rate of Americans with family incomes of more than $50,000 is higher than the homeownership rate of families with lower incomes. (An aside: 90% of households with incomes greater than $150,000 own a home!) And not surprisingly most builders target higher-income buyers, which is one reason the median price of a new home is about $230,000 and was as high as $270,000 in 2005.
I bet Bill Levitt, were he alive today, would see the situation as an opportunity. Remember,Read More
Frank Anton / BUILDER / March 28, 2013
For 12 months in a row, housing prices, as measured by the Case Shiller Index, have increased, and in January they were a whopping 8% higher year-over-year (see chart). That’s the biggest year-over-year increase since housing’s mid-summer 2006 heyday. The price improvement is widespread: all 20 cities tracked by the index–even Detroit!–posted year-over-year housing price increases.
Across the board housing price increases are important, analysts says, because when potential home buyers see prices increasing they’re convinced they’ll keep
Frank Anton / BUILDER / March 22, 2013
Just as real baseball fans don’t get too upset when their favorite team loses a game (it’s a long season!), followers of the housing industry shouldn’t dwell on month-to-month metrics.
There is a strong correlation between builder sentiment, as measured each month by the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, and housing starts (see chart). So, when the Index fell from 46 to 44 this month, the hand-wringing started.
But let’s put the 2-point drop in perspective. Even at 44, the Index is about 20 points higher than it was a year ago. Two other important year-over-year
Frank Anton / BUILDER / March 5, 2013
Even as housing picks up steam, some economists remain cautious. Too cautious.
Fence sitters point to improvements but still “bad” levels of household debt (the debt to incomeRead More
Frank Anton / BUILDER / March 15, 2013
The banks’ reluctance to lend might be the best thing for the housing industry.
Lots of builders blame the banks for the turtle-like pace of this housing recovery. And it’s true enough that tough lending standards have stunted the mortgage market. Last year mortgage originations totaled only $1.3 trillion, a far cry from the 2003 peak of $3.8 trillion. And it’s awfully tough for all but the biggest builders to secure ADC loans.
But let’s consider what might happen if banks flooded the market with money and allowed housing to get a jack rabbit start.
Well, most building