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 / HW.com / March 26, 2014
The first read of February new home sales from the Commerce Department was released this week. Economists had been expecting a decline of 5 percent from January on a seasonally adjusted basis, but instead a non-statistically significant 3.3 percent decrease was reported. Remember that last week we saw existing home sales decline moderately in aggregate but the mix of what is being sold was much better. Looking at the new data along with Metrostudy’s more detailed traffic and sales data and recent survey data on consumers’ plans to buy a home, we continue to see encouraging signs thatRead More
Jonathan Smoke / Hanley Wood / March 20, 2014
Economists were expecting another slight decline in existing home sales in February. The report this morning from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) set the initial February reading at 4.60 million, a decline of 0.4 percent. No one should fear this as a harbinger of housing deteriorating—it’s actually a reflection of the existing home market getting better.
But better is not necessarily bigger. Better is a result of having more of what we want to see and less of what we don’t want to see. While the overall volume is declining slightly, we are seeing that outcome as a resultRead 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
Jonathan Smoke / Hanley Wood / September 18, 2013
The initial read on August permits and starts showed no evidence of single family construction being derailed by the increase in mortgage rates since May. Permits, which lead starts, were at a total level in line with most economists’ expectations. Single family permits were at the highest seasonally adjusted rate since May 2008. While the total starts number was down, the decline was caused by declines in the more volatile multi-family sector, and in fact single family starts were up 7% in August over July.
We work with more detailed market level permit data from the Census and fromRead More
John McManus / BIG BUILDER / September 18, 2013
Census Bureau data on housing starts and new residential building permits hit the wires this morning, and you don’t get too far into any expert’s explanation of the fresh crop of data before the term “mixed signals” surfaces. Offsetting positives vs. negatives; stressors vs. catalysts; headwinds vs. tailwinds; fundamentals vs. technicals; buzz vs. the trenches are a fact of home building and development’s life.
* Here Calculated Risk’s Bill McBride charts up the latest release in his inimitable way:
His kicker line is this:
“This was below