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.
Jonathan Smoke / Hanley Wood / September 25, 2013
The headline from the Commerce Department report on new home sales this morning was that August delivered a 7.9% increase over July. The Commerce Department numbers for August surprised analysts just like the existing home sales data last week because it seems that many folks have bought into the idea that rising interest rates are choking off the nascent housing recovery. Once again I stand by the opinion that no conclusive data exist that show we are seeing sales decline. The only declines we are seeing consistently are typical seasonal declines in activity.
Our more detailed insightsRead More
Jonathan Smoke / Hanley Wood / September 20, 2013
Earlier this week the National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales were up in August over July when most economists were expecting a decline. Instead, the pace of sales in August was at the highest level since February 2007. Let me make one more important historical comparison. If we exclude 2002-2006 from our data set because of the abnormal level of activity in the heart of the housing boom, there have only been 5 other months in history (going back to 1968) that existing single-family home sales have been higher: January and February 2007, August and December 2001,Read More
American Institute of Architects / September 16, 2013
Specialty rooms, new systems, and technologies are all returning as a high priority among homeowners as the housing market continues to improve throughout the country. There is a particular emphasis on products offering energy-efficiency and fewer maintenance obligations. These findings are from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Home Design Trends Survey for the second quarter of 2013 that focused on emerging home features: systems, technologies and function rooms in the home.
“High demand for systems and technologies in the home that helps to lower utility bills and promoteRead More
Nick Timiraos / The Wall Street Journal / September 16, 2013
For the past year, more U.S. housing markets have had the feel of a blowout flea-market sale.
Prices were low and financing—while hard to get—was cheap for those who could get it. Once it was clear prices had found a bottom, bidding wars broke out as buyers competed over a shrinking supply of homes to get a good deal.
That sent prices up—sharply, in many markets—and for a while, buyers didn’t much mind. Falling interest rates made it possible for buyers to offer slightly higher prices without raising their monthly ownership costs.
But now, mortgage rates are up by a full percentage pointRead More
The New York Times / August 12, 2013
In a speech in Phoenix last Tuesday, President Obama finally entered the debate over the future of United States housing policy. But his talking points offered few details about how to reduce the government’s giant footprint in the mortgage market.
Mr. Obama vowed to keep mortgage costs affordable for first-time home buyers and working families, pleasing those who think that the government should have a large role in this arena. His call for investment in rental housing was a welcome change from past mantras that focused solely on increasing homeownership across the country.