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 26, 2013
From Friday’s Census Bureau release of new-home sales data, mainstream business media outlets and Wall Street analysts have drawn the conclusion that post-Fed quantitative easing interest rate spikes are killing the newborn housing rebound. Even within home building and development’s community, there are two distinct camps: one that says interest rates are sucking the mojo out of recovery; and one that says recovery’s taking on a life of its own that will trump interest rates. PULSE weighs in with 9 things home builders and their business, capital, and trade partnersRead More
Jonathan Smoke / Hanley Wood / August 23, 2013
The Commerce Department reported the first read of July new home sales this morning with a headline of a month-over-month 13.4 percent decline. The July number came in at 394,000, compared to the revised June reading of 455,000. Economists had been expecting a reading of 487,000, which would have been a 2 percent decline from the original June number of 497,000. Despite the eye-popping decline, the month-to-month change was not statistically significant, meaning that we should generally view the monthly trend as unchanged.
What is going on with these numbers? The Commerce DepartmentRead More
David Crowe / NAHB / July 25, 2013
Economic and housing data continue to describe a modest recovery for housing that will lead to higher levels of construction activity in the years ahead. While some recent information illustrates that there will be ups and downs along the way, current fundamentals indicate rising demand and insufficient housing inventory.
Mortgage interest rates have risen, but thus far there is no evidence to suggest that these increases have changed the overall improving trend for housing. Qualifying for a mortgage, including accumulating the necessary downpayment, remains a larger challenge forRead More
Brad Hunter, chief economist / Metrostudy / July 24, 2013
Today’s New Home Sales figure confirmed that demand is staying strong in spite of higher mortgage rates. Sales of new single-family homes rose 8.3% for the month, and 38.1% compared with one year ago.
The story on higher mortgage rates is a “tale of two buyers.” The entry-level buyer has pulled back somewhat, but the move-up buyer has found a new sense of urgency to buy, to beat further increases in mortgage rates and further price hikes.
Household formation rates continue to rise, and that is fueling new home demand. Early readings of our new 2nd quarter data show positive readingsRead More
Jonathan Smoke / Hanley Wood / July 24, 2013
The Commerce Department reports their first read on June new home sales later today. Economists are expecting to see a slight increase of 2% in the seasonally adjusted annual rate of new home sales. Like their reporting on permits and starts, this series is based on a relatively small survey of builders and so it often results in month to month changes that are not statistically significant and the data are also subject to significant revisions.
If the number fails to meet expectations, expect the market commentary to focus on the impact on higher mortgage rates that started rising at the endRead More