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.
Robert Denk / NAHB / September 19, 2013
Are home builders more confident than they should be? There has been some discussion suggesting that the relationship between the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) and single family housing starts is broken, or at least strained lately. Let’s take a look.
The HMI and starts track together well, no question. But they don’t move in lockstep, that’s clear throughout their history. So how much and when should they differ?
The gap between the HMI and starts appears widest at turning points and throughout the most recent boom/bust/recovery cycle.Read More
Kris Hudson / The Wall Street Journal / September 18, 2013
Home builders got a double boost on Wednesday from a report of resilient construction of single-family homes in August and the Federal Reserve’s decision to continue efforts to boost the economy and keep interest rates low.
Still, many housing-market observers see signs of a continued slowdown in price increases for new homes and possibly for new-home sales as well.
The Fed’s decision Wednesday afternoon to maintain its quantitative easing program for keeping interest rates low helped push the Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction Total Return Index to a 5.9% gain by the end of Wednesday.Read More
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
John McManus / BIG BUILDER / September 18, 2013
Census Bureau data on housing starts and new residential building permits hit the wires this morning, and you don’t get too far into any expert’s explanation of the fresh crop of data before the term “mixed signals” surfaces. Offsetting positives vs. negatives; stressors vs. catalysts; headwinds vs. tailwinds; fundamentals vs. technicals; buzz vs. the trenches are a fact of home building and development’s life.
* Here Calculated Risk’s Bill McBride charts up the latest release in his inimitable way:
His kicker line is this:
“This was below
Tom Hayden / Metrostudy / August 19, 2013
What a difference a couple of years can make – Census-reported (seasonally adjusted) national annual housing starts were 836,000, a 10% gain over the 785,000 noted in June 2012 and a nearly 38% increase compared to two years ago. This of course translates into increased activity with the top master planned communities (“MPCs”) and an even more competitive Top 20 in 2013.
To put this in perspective, a community starting 260 homes at the mid-point of 2011 ranked in the Top 20, this year their ranking would slide down to 53. Based on Metrostudy’s quarterly lot-by-lot survey, the TopRead More