Builder Confidence in July Remains Healthy

July 18, 2018
Beverley BevenFlorez - CDJ STAFF

National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Eye on Housing reported that builder confidence in the newly-built single-family homes market “remained unchanged at a solid 68 reading in July on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).” Builders remain optimistic regarding the housing market, due to continued solid demand for single-family homes.


Lennar Surges After Blowout Quarter Defies Rate, Commodity Fears

July 11, 2018
Lily Katz & Prashant Gopal - Bloomberg

Shares of Lennar Corp. are rallying after the homebuilder reported results that blew past expectations in the firm’s first full quarter since completing its $5.7 billion acquisition of CalAtlantic Group Inc.

Second-quarter revenue and earnings per share both topped the highest expectations, and new home orders surged 62 percent from a year ago, compared with the 55 percent average estimate among three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Reprinted courtesy of Lily Katz, Bloomberg and Proshant Gopal, Bloomberg


Increase in Western States Permits Causes Nationwide Numbers to Surge

July 2, 2018
Beverley BevenFlorez-CDJ STAFF

The National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing reported, in the first quarter of 2018, single-family home permits increased 8.4% over the April 2017 levels. In the year between April 2017 and April 2018, over 30 states featured single-family permit growth, with Colorado recording the highest rate of growth (34.2%). Texas and Florida led the U.S. in number of permits issued, while the lowest came from District of Columbia. According to Eye on Housing, the nationwide increase in permits “ is largely due to the aggregate increase in single-family permits across the Western states. Out of the 13 which are classified as Western states, nine states recorded single-family permit growth exceeding the national average.”


Four Ways to Ensure Equipment Weathers the Storm

June 13, 2018
Ryne DeBoer - Construction Executive

Weather events such as hurricanes and wildfires inflicted $306 billion in damages in the United States in 2017, making it the most expensive year for natural disasters ever recorded. In this environment, fleet managers must protect their equipment year-round to avoid costly repairs and speed up project timelines.

Reprinted courtesy of Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.
Mr. DeBoer may be contacted at info@moreycorp.com


Northwest Builders Add Jobs To Keep Up the Pace

June 6, 2018
Christine Kilpatrick - Engineering News-Record

The Northwest building market remains strong, say industry leaders, as construction employment in Oregon, Alaska and Washington continues to grow, according to the Associated General Contractors.

Ms. Kilpatrick may be contacted at kilpatrickc@enr.com


U.S. Homebuilder Sentiment Rises for First Time Since December

May 30, 2018
Katia Dmitrieva - Bloomberg

Sentiment among U.S. homebuilders rose for the first time in five months as job gains and tax cuts helped keep buyer demand healthy amid rising prices and mortgage rates, according to data Tuesday from the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo.


Texas Leads in Year-Over-Year Construction Job Gains, Experts See Regional Growth Ahead

May 24, 2018
David M. Brown - Engineering News Record

Construction leaders across Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas are optimistic about regional construction activity moving into the second half of 2018.

ENR staff may be contacted at ENR.com@bnpmedia.com


Builders Seek New Defenses Against Jobsite Fires

May 16, 2018
Jim Parsons - Engineering News-Record

In the early morning hours of April 24, flames ripped through a 180-unit wood-framed apartment complex under construction in Concord, Calif. Fortunately, the site was unoccupied at the time of the fire, which firefighters brought under control by dawn. But the damage was done; the $55-million project was declared a total loss.

ENR staff may be contacted at ENR.com@bnpmedia.com


U.S. Existing-Home Sales Rise as Properties Draw Quick Bids

May 3, 2018
Katia Dmitrieva - Bloomberg

Sales of previously owned U.S. homes rose to a four-month high as buyers, fueled by a solid job market and and tax cuts, quickly snapped up the limited number of available properties, National Association of Realtors data showed Monday.


Solus Says It May Buy Hovnanian Bonds to Cut Loss From CDS

April 11, 2018
Erik Schatzker and Sridhar Natarajan – Bloomberg

Hedge fund Solus Alternative Asset Management is considering an escalation in its battle with Blackstone Group LP over a homebuilder’s controversial debt refinancing.

After suing Blackstone’s GSO credit unit and Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. for engineering a credit-default swaps payout that’s leaving Solus with steep losses, the hedge fund’s CEO, Chris Pucillo, said in a Bloomberg Television interview that he may just buy the builder’s bonds to limit his losses and cut Blackstone’s profit.

Reprinted courtesy of Erik Schatzker , Bloomberg and Sridhar Natarajan, Bloomberg


U.S. Homebuilder Outlook Eases While Hovering Near 18-Year High

March 29, 2018
Shelly Hagan – Bloomberg

Confidence among U.S. homebuilders slipped to a four-month low in March while remaining above historical averages, indicating developers expect demand to withstand rising mortgage rates, according to data from the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo.


Princeton Must Build More Affordable Housing, N.J. Judge Rules

March 22, 2018
Elise Young - Bloomberg

Princeton, one of America’s richest towns, must build more affordable housing, a judge ruled in a decision that may have ripple effects across New Jersey.

The home of Princeton University, the state’s only Ivy League school, must plan for 753 low-and middle-income homes, more than double what the borough had anticipated, according to the March 8 ruling by Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson. Its wealthy neighbor, West Windsor, has a burden of 1,500 homes for people of little means in a state with high living costs, Jacobson ruled.


Trump’s Tariff Is Forcing Homebuilders to Cut Costs

March 14, 2018
Jen Skerritt - Bloomberg

For the past 18 months, Eddie Martin has been trying to find ways to keep the affordable homes he builds, well, affordable.

About 40 percent of the Texas homebuilder’s framing lumber comes from Canada. The Trump administration slapped punitive tariffs on Canadian softwood timber last year, claiming the industry is unfairly subsidized. The move has driven lumber prices to near record highs. Tilson Home Corp., where Martin is president, has so far refrained from passing on the added costs to homebuyers. To do that, it’s cut back the number of home plans it offers and is considering swapping pricier fir for cheaper Southern yellow pine, even though its tendency to bow in the Texas humidity makes it more difficult for construction crews to work with.


U.S. Pending Home Sales Gauge Falls to Lowest Since 2014

February 28, 2018
Sho Chandra – ENR

A gauge of contracts to purchase previously-owned U.S. homes unexpectedly declined in January to a more than three-year low, reflecting a shortage of inventories and rising mortgage rates, according to data released Wednesday from the National Association of Realtors in Washington.


U.S. Homebuilder Sentiment Remains Near Highest Level Since 1999

February 22, 2018
Shelly Hagan – Bloomberg

Confidence among American homebuilders held steady in February near the highest level since 1999, suggesting that demand for housing is expected to remain strong, according to data Thursday from the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo.


Home Prices Hit Records in Almost Two-Thirds of U.S. Cities

February 15, 2018
Prashant Gopal – Bloomberg

Home prices jumped to all-time highs in almost two-thirds of U.S. cities in the fourth quarter as buyers battled for a record-low supply of listings.

Prices for single-family homes, which climbed 5.3 percent from a year earlier nationally, reached a peak in 64 percent of metropolitan areas measured, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. Of the 177 regions in the group’s survey, 15 percent had double-digit price growth, up from 11 percent in the third quarter.


Toronto Home Sales Plunge Under New Lending Rules

February 7, 2018
Natalie Wong and Erik Hertzberg – Bloomberg

Toronto home sales tumbled in the first month of 2018, as tougher mortgage qualification rules came into play and borrowing costs rose.

Sales in Canada’s biggest city fell 22 percent to 4,019 units from a year earlier, according to data released Tuesday by the Toronto Real Estate Board. It was the weakest month of sales for January since 2009. The average price of a home sold in Toronto was C$736,783 ($587,968), down 4.1 percent from January 2017, though little changed from December.

Reprinted courtesy of Natalie Wong, Bloomberg and Erik Hertzberg, Bloomberg


This Rare Bear Who Called the Crash Warns Housing Is Too Hot Again

January 31, 2018
Prashant Gopal – Bloomberg

When real estate investors get this confident, money manager James Stack gets nervous.

U.S. home prices are surging to new records. Homebuilder stocks last year outperformed all other groups. And bears? They’re now an endangered species.

Stack, 66, who manages $1.3 billion for people with a high net worth, predicted the housing crash in 2005, just before prices reached their peak. Now, from his perch in Whitefish, Montana, he says his “Housing Bubble Bellwether Barometer” of homebuilder and mortgage company stocks, which jumped 80 percent in the past year, once again is flashing red.


Rival Company Says Puerto Rico Deal to Rebuild Homes Was Unfairly Awarded

January 24, 2018
Johnathan Levin, Daniel Flately and Yalixa Rivera - Bloomberg

Two disaster recovery companies are battling over a $133 million contract to repair hurricane-battered homes in Puerto Rico, with the losing bidder formally challenging the result and suggesting the winner should have been disqualified. The commonwealth’s Housing Department on Dec. 15 gave the deal to oversee 75,000 potential home rehabs to Utica, New York-based Adjusters International Inc., which employs as an executive a former Trump administration nominee to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. AECOM, the world’s biggest engineering firm, said Adjusters failed to show adequate financial resources and good standing to do business in Puerto Rico, according to a copy of AECOM’s motion for reconsideration provided to Bloomberg. Mr. Levin may be followed @JonathanJLevin Mr. Flatley may be followed @daniel_flatley


Las Vegas's Economy Is on the Brink of a Boom

January 10, 2018
Conor Sen - Bloomberg

What U.S. city will boom in 2018? If you're placing bets, you'd look for a place still suffering a hangover from the housing bust, with subdued economic activity and a lack of excess for a decade. You'd want to find an economy where demand is starting to exceed supply in a significant way, with price signals and economic activity responding. And with the U.S. economy as a whole starting to feel a bit frothy, you'd try to identify a place that benefits from American exuberance. In other words, you'd look for Las Vegas.

You can contact Mr. Sen on twitter @Conorsen


London Luxury Home at ‘Unbelievable’ Discount Shows Price Falls

January 5, 2018
Sharon R. Smyth and Nishant Kumar - Bloomberg

Unbelievable reduction,” says the broker’s email.

An investor who agreed to purchase an apartment at the ritzy One Blackfriars project on the banks of the River Thames is offering the two-bedroom home on the 20th floor for 1.8 million pounds ($2.44 million), more than 22 percent less than they agreed to pay for it in 2013.

The seller, who’s from Asia, wants to offload the property before it’s completed, according to Christian Barr, new homes manager at MyLondonHome, who’s brokering the sale. Stamp duty is payable after a property’s construction is finished.


U.S. Sales of Existing Homes Climb to an Almost 11-Year High

December 20, 2017
Sho Chandra - Bloomberg

Sales of previously owned U.S. homes rose in November to an almost 11-year high, indicating demand picked up momentum heading into the end of the year, according to a National Association of Realtors report released Wednesday.


Hong Kong Property Doom Doesn't Begin at 1%

December 1, 2017
Nisha Gopalan - Bloomberg

Hong Kong's one-month interbank rate has reached its highest level since the global financial crisis. But don't expect the city's real estate prices to halt their spiral anytime soon, whatever the International Monetary Fund may say.

Blame banks and property developers.

Around 94 percent of mortgages in the world's least affordable property market are tied to the Hong Kong interbank offered rate, so the surge above 1 percent will cause some pain.


Home Depot Says Slashing Tax Deductions Won't Hurt Housing Boom

November 15, 2017
Matthew Townsend - Bloomberg

Home Depot Inc. isn’t buying the real estate industry’s claims that a provision in the House Republicans’ tax plan to reduce the mortgage-interest deduction would cause U.S. home prices to plummet.

“We don’t see much of an impact,” Home Depot Chief Financial Officer Carol Tome said in an interview Tuesday after the retailer reported third-quarter results. “There is no real empirical evidence that suggests mortgage-interest deductibility is at all correlated to home ownership.”



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