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.
Les Shaver / BUILDER / November 7, 2014
By almost any standard, 2014 has been a disappointment for home builders. As of October, starts were up only 2 percent compared with 2013; sales volume rose about 7 percent; and home prices ticked up roughly 5 percent, according to Metrostudy.
On the surface, home builders looked like the victims of these trends, but Dave Goldberg, an analyst for UBS in New York, thinks they also played an active role in their own loss of momentum. Aside from some moves like Miami-based Lennar Corp.’s increasing realtor sales commissions and Fort Worth, Texas–based D.R. Horton’s push into the entry-levelRead More
Brad Hunter / Builder / October 17, 2014
Housing starts rose by 6.3% in September, which places activity 17.8% above September of last year, according to the government report just released at 8:30.
Metrostudy’s view about the housing recovery remains unchanged. The total for 2014 will be little changed from 2013, but activity should increase in 2015.
The Top 4 Obstacles
There are still people who *should* be able to get mortgages who cannot (particularly those who work on commissions or bonuses, or are self-employed).
They have yet to help household formation rates, because those
New-home sales in August reached the highest annualized pace since 2008. But many builders and economists still expect sales for this year to underwhelm, ultimately either matching or only slightly exceeding last year’s level.
The reason lies in the difference between the volatility of monthly home-sales figures from the Commerce Department and the underlying trajectory of the market established over the past year. The latter shows a pace, on average, of sluggish but steady growth.
Meanwhile, the frothy gain in August new-home sales reported Wednesday by the Commerce Department canRead More
Metrostudy does a 100% count within markets across the country of move-ins into newly-built homes. This is a powerful and reliable measure of end-user demand. The top two markets have outsized percentage changes because they are starting from a low base number. In terms of the large markets, Central Florida has seen a 24.3% increase in new home demand in the past year, and Charlotte, NC, has seen a 23.4%. Atlanta, which was savaged by the downturn, has seen a 22.9% increase. New home construction is picking up in all of these markets, as builders scramble to meet increased demand.Read More
Brad Hunter / Builder / September 18, 2014
Today’s government data release on housing starts showed a 14.4% decline in the month of August, mostly driven by multifamily. Single-family detached home construction was only down 2.4% on the month. Total starts are still 8.0% higher than August of last year, and single-family starts are still 4.2% above the year-ago pace.
The apparent stagnation in national housing starts is not universal. Looking deeper, and using Metrostudy’s more granular detail, we see that certain markets have seen considerable strength. In our local-market tracking, we are still seeing significantRead More