HOUSING STARTS UP 3% IN FEBRUARY

Housing starts were up 3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,288,000 in February, 6.2% ahead of the pace of the same month last year, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

Single-family housing starts surged 6.5% to a rate of 872,000, 3.2% ahead of the pace of a year earlier. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 396,000, down from 429,000 in January.

Building permits in February declined 6.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,213,000 but remained 4.4% ahead of the February 2016 rate of 1,162,000. Single-family authorizations in February were at a rate of 832,000; this is 3.1% above the revised January figure of 807,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 334,000 in February, down sharply from 457,000 in January.

Housing completions in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,114,000, 5.4% above the revised January estimate of 1,057,000 and 8.7% above the February 2016 rate of 1,025,000. Single-family housing completions in February were at a rate of 754,000, 6.5% below the revised January rate of 806,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 344,000, up from 247,000 in January.

 

http://www.builderonline.com/money/economics/housing-starts-up-3-in-february_o?utm_source=newsletter&utm_content=Press%20Release&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=BBU_031617%20(1)&he=6aa7c1ac3c3aa7b289e73ed5d4a26e64759a45aa

 

 

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FANNIE HPSI REACHES ALL-TIME HIGH

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) increased by 5.6 percentage points in February to 88.3, a new all-time high, the Government Sponsored Enterprise said Tuesday.

Five of the six components that comprise the HPSI were up, and three hit record highs. The net share of Americans who reported that now is a good time to buy rose 11 percentage points, while the net share who believe that now is a good time to sell rose 7 percentage points.

Consumers also demonstrated greater confidence about not losing their jobs, with the net share rising 9 percentage points. On net, the share of respondents reporting that their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago increased 4 percentage points. Additionally, more Americans expect home prices to go up, with the net share rising 3 percentage points. The net share of those who think mortgage rates will go down over the next 12 months remained unchanged for the third consecutive month.

“The latest post-election surge in optimism puts the HPSI at its highest level since its starting point in 2011. Millennials showed especially strong increases in job confidence and income gains, a necessary precursor for increased housing demand from first-time home buyers,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Preliminary research results from our team find that millennials are accelerating the rate at which they move out of their parents’ homes and form new households. However, continued slow supply growth implies continued strong price appreciation and affordability constraints facing millennials and first-time buyers in many markets.”

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Why The Housing Market Is Ready To Boom

 

 

In the run-up to the financial crisis, the number of homes built within the US surged to over 2 million and it has taken some time for this ‘overbuild’ to work its way out of the system. According to additional Newgate research, the average build over the past seven years has been just 850,000 per annum. This below average annual build is fair considering the housing overbuild prior to the global financial crisis. However, now data from the US Census now shows that this ‘overbuild’ has been almost completely eliminated and the market has moved into a shortage of 700,000 houses.

 

But why hasn’t the additional demand emerged for new units if the housing market is technically in shortage? Newgate proposes that ‘weak household formation’ is to blame for a lack of demand:

“We argue that these alternative living arrangements are temporary. The natural human desire for independence and to start a family – combined with supportive economic conditions – should see household formation recover.”

“If we assume household formation increases back to more normal levels, we would expect an increase in demand for one million new houses. This is in addition to the natural annual demand for housing of 1.5 to 2.0 million houses per annum.

 

http://www.valuewalk.com/2017/02/housing-starts-surge

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US home builder confidence hits highest level since 2005

US homebuilders’ confidence soared this month to the highest level in 11 years, reflecting heightened expectations of better sales now and well into 2017. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Thursday jumped seven points to 70. The last time the reading was at this level was July 2005, during the high-flying days of the last U.S. housing boom. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor. The index has been above 60 the past four months after hovering in the high 50s much of this year. Builders’ view of sales now and over the next six months rose sharply, as did a gauge of traffic by prospective buyers. The sharp increase in the latest builder survey is consistent with recent gains for the stock market and improving U.S. consumer confidence, said Robert Dietz, the NAHB’s chief economist.

 

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Consumer sentiment surges to 98 in early December based on surprise Presidential election

Consumer confidence surged in early December to 98.0, or just one-tenth of an Index point below the 2015 peak-which was the highest level since the start of 2004. The surge was largely due to consumers’ initial reactions to Trump’s surprise victory.

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Wholesale inventories fell 0.4 percent in October while sales surged

 

U.S. wholesale inventories fell 0.4 percent October amid a surge in sales, supporting views that inventory investment would provide a modest boost to economic growth in the fourth quarter.

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Raleigh Wake HBA Installation

2016 Installation and Hall of Fame

Platinum Sponsor

PHWS, Inc.

PHWS is honored to be a sponsor at the Installation and Hall of Fame, next Thursday night at the North Carolina Museum of Art.
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Buyers may be about to flood the biggest part of the housing market

New homes being constructed

New homebuyers may be about to flood the US market for existing homes to lock in the lowest mortgage rates they can. In the past two weeks — since Donald Trump was elected president — mortgage rates jumped alongside other interest rates. This happened as investors raised their expectations for economic growth and inflation, placing their bets on Trump’s plans to spend heavily on infrastructure and cut taxes. The Bankrate.com 30-year national average rate was up from 3.5 percent on Election Day to 3.95 percent on Tuesday, the highest level since December 2015. This is still historically low. “In the short-term, some prospective buyers may rush to lock in their rate and buy now, while others — especially those in higher-priced markets — may be forced to delay as a larger monthly payment outstretches their budget,” Lawrence Yun, the chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, said in a data release on Tuesday. The NAR released its monthly report on existing-home sales, which showed that sales rose at the highest annualized pace in a decade during October. Sales increased by 2 percent at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.60 million, beating economists’ consensus forecast.

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15 Things Realtors Want Builders to Know

From dirty model homes to pushy salespeople, here are the top blunders that real estate agents see builders make.

 

 

3. Staging
Realtors say that no matter the style or size the model home, it should always be staged. It’s one of the most important steps to selling a home, says New York Realtor David.

“I’ve taken on expired listings of vacant model homes… once staged, buyers can picture themselves living in them and usually they sell in record time,” she says.

But many agents caution builders and their designers not to take staging too far because overdecorated models can look cluttered and confuse customers about what is standard and what is an upgrade. “Sometimes they are set up with lots of bells and whistles that don’t come standard, says Coldwell Banker agent Missy Stagers of San Antonio, Texas. “Make sure to clearly notate what is an upgrade.”

Models need to strike a middle ground between overdesigned and plain vanilla, says David. “It is hard for clients to walk into a fully loaded model home and picture it at the base level,” she says. “While I realize builders need to showcase their ‘best stuff,’ it would be great if there was a way to have a model with every upgrade, and also one available to see with just the basic offerings.”

Stagers has a good idea: “Offer some nice things in the basic package so everything is not an upgrade,” she says.

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PHWS is excited to be the sponsor at the HBA Networking Night this Thursday.

“PHWS is excited to be the sponsor at the HBA Networking Night this Thursday. All Raleigh Wake members should come out for a great evening of bowling and games. Hope to see you there!”

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