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.
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
John Caulfield / BUILDER / June 18, 2013
Are builders too aggressive in acquiring real estate?
Jonathan S. Grebow
is president and CEO of Ridgewood Real Estate Parners in Florham Park, N.J.
Yes. Builders are forgetting past excesses.
Since 2009, Ridgewood has been a residential real estate developer and investor specializing in land banking. The company acquires, develops, and sells residential and mixed-use communities across the United States.
While Grebow says his company has enjoyed “close relationships” with public and private builders, many of those same builders “have become our biggest competitionRead More
Austin Evans / Metrostudy / June 13, 2013
Over the past several years, builders have gotten comfortable paying below market value for finished lots. Finished lot prices were as low as 5% to 6% of home values in some areas. Builders and developers wrote down lot costs and were able to dispose of them at less than the cost to develop. REO supply grew, and it seemed most builders were taking down lots from banks, not developers. Even though communities were struggling to generate sales, the holding cost of lots was relatively low.
As activity has jumped over the past several quarters, builders are scrambling to control lots that they previouslyRead More
Duo Dickinson / Houzz / May 1, 2013
After World War II, the Federal Interstate Highway System allowed easy access for millions of families to populate subdivided farmland outside every major city in the United States. Flat, dry land with good soils for structural support and for receiving the new homes’ septic flow were gobbled up by suburban sprawl for a generation.
But for the past 30 years, available homesites within commutable distances from workplaces have often been awkward leftovers. Their property lines have trended away from simple rectangles to some pretty crazy shapes. Steep slopes are often part or all of newRead More