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.
Shaila Dewan / The New York Times / September 7, 2013
a few months ago, Michael N. Felix’s phone started ringing again after four years of silence. Mr. Felix is a land broker whose business dried up when the housing market crashed. But with home prices now rising faster than anyone expected, builders are again looking for what, in the land trade, is referred to as dirt.
Already, developers report that the cost of land in the most desirable areas is double what it was two years ago. At least three golf courses in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area are being carved into millions of dollars’ worth of residential lots. The race has even sent builders backRead More
David Crowe, NAHB / BUILDER / August 27, 2013
Builders face low lot supply and fluctuating financial conditions.
Lots approved for home building remain in short supply as the housing market recovers but the supply systems struggles to restart. The shortage persists as a residual of the extreme housing cycle we endured.
Bringing raw land to a point where a home can be constructed requires time and money. Before land can be purchased and developed, debt and equity must be acquired. And before construction can begin, permits and approvals must be obtained. Developers borrow from banks, usually community banks where both partiesRead More
Rick Harrison, President of Rick Harrison Site Design Studio and Neighborhood Innovations, LLC / newgeography / August 16, 2013
In the housing industry, land planners are the first to be dropped during a downturn… and the first needed in an upturn. A good way to monitor the optimism of the housing development market is to monitor the volume of land planning.
The land plan is the beginning of a long and arduous process. Unlike architecture, which is relatively quick from design to construction, land planning takes patience. It can easily consume a year or two (or more) for a US neighborhood to go from the initial design stages to the beginning of construction.
Typically, but not always, national recessions coincide withRead More
Brad Hunter / Metrostudy / June 5, 2013
Metrostudy chief economist Brad Hunter’s presentation during the Land Strategies Forum at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference, June 5, 2013Read More
Ben Sage / Metrostudy / July 26, 2013
I don’t know if there are any fans of the pugilistic arts out there, but I used to be a boxing fan. I don’t follow it any more, but when I was a kid I was fascinated by Ali, Foreman, and Frazier … the heavyweights. To me, this was the golden age of boxing. I was too young to appreciate Ali’s genius, so George Foreman was my favorite. I didn’t watch the lower divisions as much, but I do remember a pair of fights between Sugar Ray Leonard and Robert Duran back in 1980. Their second bout, which took place in the New Orleans’ Super Dome, was one of the strangest and most controversial matchesRead More