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/ Frank Talk/ May 2011
While conventional wisdom has it that housing will recover more slowly than ever from this endless downturn, the fact is that an oft-ignored part of the industry is poised for potentially explosive growth. And it’s time for building product manufacturers to take notice … and action.
I’m talking about rental housing, units built in buildings with more than five units. You probably lived in one when you were in your 20s. Then, for 25 years or so, it wasn’t cool to rent (or build apartments). Owning a home was the ticket, and the homeownership rate approached 70 percent.Read More
Frank Anton/ Frank Talk/ February 2011
Even though it’s been almost 18 months since the Great Recession ended (according to economists), the economy still feels sluggish.
Even though it’s been a year since companies began, in aggregate, adding instead of cutting jobs, everybody knows somebody who still needs a job.
Even though the financial crisis has come and gone, banks still aren’t lending.
Even though the Dow index has hit 12,000, double its 2008 low point, nobody feels flush.
And even though vehicle sales and retail sales have bounced back, there still are empty storefronts in almost every neighborhood.Read More
Frank Anton/ Frank Talk/ September 2010
When I started my first job:
- I had a manual typewriter. (A computer? Bill Gates was still in high school.)
- FedEx wasn’t flying. (Mail? We mailed it.)
- I had a rotary dial phone. (Voice mail? That’s why you had a secretary.)
Somehow we mucked through the day without being able to generate spreadsheet after spreadsheet of numbers too small to read, or send not-so-very-important documents by overnight delivery, or answer an unbelievably urgent phone call—that most certainly could have waited until tomorrow—on a Blackberry in the middle of a family birthday dinner.
Now, don’tRead More
Frank Anton/ Frank Talk/ June 2010
Conventional wisdom has it that this recession will wipe out conspicuous consumption for a generation or more. I don’t buy that. When the economy and the job market improve, I think American consumers, who can, will flock back to Tiffany and BMW dealers. What I’ve been worried about is how this recession, and more particularly the housing industry shipwreck, could affect home buyers’ attitudes and decisions to buy or not to buy in the foreseeable future. Could they be so spooked by housing price declines and the foreclosure crisis that they’ll be reluctant to buy aRead More
Frank Anton/ Frank Talk/ May 2010
There have been five housing downturns during my 35-year career (I’m older than you think) in the housing industry. To some extent, each has been different (for example, high interest rates triggered the downturn of the early 1980s, and the tech bubble combined with 9-11 caused the slowdown in 2002). But every downturn has been the same in two ways. One, as the industry slips into decline, almost nobody can imagine how bad the market will get. Two, once the downturn takes hold, almost nobody believes the industry will ever rebound.
Certainly this downturn exceeded everybody’s mostRead More