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
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
Christopher Power / Bloomberg/Businessweek / August 05, 2013
Metrostudy, a real estate consulting firm based in Houston, analyzes the health of the residential market in metropolitan areas across the U.S. and issued prescient warnings about the coming housing bust as early as 2004. One of its main analytical tools is what makes Metrostudy interesting: drive-bys.
Employees drive through newly built—or still being built—home developments and start observing. Are there toys on a house’s lawn? Good sign: A family has moved in. Families mean stability. Is there a garden hose attached to the side of the house? Another good sign. The house is not onlyRead 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