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.
John McManus / Builder / August 18, 2014
Housing’s recovery pattern, well-established over the past 18 months, since the downturn’s most dire days shook the cosmos in the latter half of the last decade, has virtually irrefutable definition. With the exception of a handful of markets fuel-injected by energy- and tech-driven jobs growth, the “rebound,” such that it is, has confined itself to places thick with people who are moving, purchasing, and buying new because they can rather than because they need to.
As a result, other than in those exceptional jobs-growth markets–Texas, Florida, Georgia,Read More
Brad Hunter / Metrostudy / August 11, 2014
We have been talking for years about the lot shortages that builders are facing. Now, it’s time to talk about how many lots are being developed. Builders and developers are now playing “catch-up,” with builders buying land and lots and developers/investors paving roads and putting in infrastructure to serve the builders’ needs at a frenetic pace.
The pace of lot delivery (completion, ready for the builder) has gone up 140% in the past two years, much faster than the pace of housing production has risen (+84%). Despite this increased pace, lot development STILL lags the pace ofRead More
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
Kris Hudson / The Wall Street Journal / September 4, 2013
Most builders responding to a recent survey released Wednesday by the National Association of Home Builders noted that lots ready for construction remain in short supply, and that scarcity is among the chief factors hindering the housing recovery.
That much we already knew, as so called finished lots have been relatively hard to come by since cash-strapped developers stopped producing them during the recession. The more recent concern is this: The rise in home prices has started to slow by some measures, and that could end up haunting builders who pay top dollar for the few lots now available.Read More
Brad Hunter / Metrostudy / August 29, 2013
Five years ago, housing’s story was one of excess. Today, it is about shortages.
The tightest market in the country (of the markets Metrostudy tracks) is San Diego, which was one of the markets to nosedive earliest and deepest. There is a 15.5 month supply of developed lots, based upon the last four quarters worth of lot demand. A normal level in that market would be closer to 30-36 months, particularly with that market’s high development hurdles.
The Texas markets figure prominently on this list. Texas has led the way throughout this recovery, with consistently strong demand. TexasRead More