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.
Jonathan Smoke / Hanley Wood / September 18, 2013
The initial read on August permits and starts showed no evidence of single family construction being derailed by the increase in mortgage rates since May. Permits, which lead starts, were at a total level in line with most economists’ expectations. Single family permits were at the highest seasonally adjusted rate since May 2008. While the total starts number was down, the decline was caused by declines in the more volatile multi-family sector, and in fact single family starts were up 7% in August over July.
We work with more detailed market level permit data from the Census and fromRead More
BUILDER PULSE / July 17, 2013
Home builders and their partners in housing, whether they’re executives at big companies or of the entrepreneurial lot-to-lot variety, look at Census Bureau Housing Starts and Permits data releases as just a number. To most, the monthly data point serves as a directional signal; its absolute value rises and falls with corrections, volatility in multifamily construction timelines, and seasonality. Of this month’s release, questions arise as to whether “housing’s losing its mojo.” BUILDER PULSE sister company Metrostudy’s chief economist andRead More
Jonathan Smoke / Hanley Wood / July 16, 2013
The Commerce Department releases new permits, starts, and completions data Wednesday morning. Let’s anticipate what we might see in the Wednesday report by looking at some real, market level permit data.
The survey methodology behind the Commerce Department data often causes the monthly metrics to be subject to significant revisions. More telling, and often ignored by the mainstream, is that the monthly changes are more often than not within the confidence interval, meaning that the monthly data are inconclusive about the direction and extent of change month over month.
The consensusRead More
Jonathan Smoke / Hanley Wood / June 18, 2013
The preliminary data on permits in May from the Commerce Department reflected activity close to the pace reported in April (down 3.1%) but that was slightly better than most economists were expecting. We think the pace of activity so far this year is more or less what we will see for the year as builders are intentionally limiting growth to maintain pricing power while shoring up future lot capacity. If our thesis is true, it makes sense to see what more detailed data available through April tells us about new residential construction in 2013.
Here are the key observations:
- Growth so far is significant