Omnis Report Demonstrates Residential Construction Boom

October 11, 2021
Beverley BevenFlorez – CDJ Staff

Despite “unprecedented labor and construction shortages,” home construction has risen across the country, data from a report by Omnis shows.

Omnis “analyzed the data from 368 permit-issuing municipalities across the country, to understand new construction trends at both the national and local levels.” They focused their attention “on two periods: the number of permits issued in the first six months of 2020 and the number of permits issued in the first six months of 2021.”

Across the nation, the numbers demonstrated an “undeniable boom in new residential construction.” For instance, “over the past two years, permits issued increased 36 percent nationally, for all sized residential projects. For single-family homes, the increase was 30 percent. For large buildings containing five or more units, the increase was 21 percent. Also during this period, the average value of a newly constructed single-family home increased seven percent.”

California’s Smart Plan to Let Homeowners Be Homebuilders

October 4, 2021
Virginia Postrel - Bloomberg

California just gave single-family homeowners more control over their property and, for those in high-demand cities, the potential for a big financial windfall. Eight time zones away in the U.K., the Conservative government is revising its planning bill in ways that could give homeowners a similar boon.

The details and contexts differ, but both approaches recognize a political reality. The way to relieve housing shortages is to build more homes, and it’s easier to legalize construction if existing homeowners realize benefits.

New Orlando Training Center to Open Doors for Careers in Construction

September 29, 2021
PR Newswire

ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Home Builders Institute (HBI) today announced the official opening of its new Orlando-based facility for training people for jobs in construction. The BuildStrong Academy of Orlando will train and place area students who want to pursue careers in the skilled trades for the building industry. Funded by The Home Depot Foundation, along with other private, public, and nonprofit sector partners, the program will be free to trainees.

Officials expect the training center to serve approximately 500 new trainees by year-end 2022. The BuildStrong Academy of Orlando's training program guides participants through a step-by-step process designed to take them from beginners, with little-to-no trade skills, to tradespeople who are sought after by employers. Instructors will use HBI's industry-recognized curriculum, which is one of only three pre-­apprenticeship programs recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor.

For more information on the BuildStrong Academy of Orlando, and how to enroll, visit or email:

Angry Evergrande Homebuyers Protest Against Construction Halt

September 20, 2021
Bloomberg News

Disgruntled China Evergrande Group customers staged a protest in Guangzhou demanding that the cash-strapped developer restart stalled construction work and urging the local government to intervene.

More than 100 homebuyers in white T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase “Resume construction, Evergrande” lined up before the housing bureau of the city’s Nansha district on Thursday, according to people who attended the protest and asked not to be named because of fear of retribution. They said building of units they purchased in Evergrande Peninsula, a project of almost 5,000 apartments, has been halted since May.

Home Prices in Three U.S. Cities Have Jumped 25% or More in a Year

September 13, 2021
Claire Ballentine & Alice Kantor - Bloomberg

Homes in some of the largest U.S. cities just keep getting more expensive.

In Phoenix alone, an index that measures home prices climbed a whopping 29.3% in June from the previous year, as more people move to the city. The measure in San Diego rose 27.1%, while Seattle increased 25%. The index in nine cities jumped 20% or more.

Sam Zell Partners With Toll on $1.9 Billion Apartment Deal

September 6, 2021
Craig Giammona - Bloomberg

Sam Zell’s Equity Residential and the luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc. have formed a partnership to develop apartments, looking to deploy $1.9 billion to take advantage of the surging demand for rentals.

The two companies will invest about $750 million in equity, plus additional debt, over the next three years to develop projects in Boston, Seattle, Atlanta Austin, Denver, Dallas-Fort Worth and the San Diego area, according to a statement on Tuesday.

Las Vegas Train Bonds Will Go To California Housing

August 30, 2021
Romy Varghese - Bloomberg

California reallocated $200 million of tax-exempt private activity bonds formerly reserved for Fortress Investment Group’s Las Vegas tourist train to be used instead by affordable housing projects.

In January, the state’s Debt Limit Allocation Committee set aside that portion of California’s limited financing resource in anticipation that the firm’s Brightline Holdings would request it later in the year. Instead, the venture said in June it will seek an undisclosed amount of debt next year. The committee’s three-member board on Wednesday unanimously approved moving the bonds to housing.

Apartment Construction Booms as Remote Work Changes Loom

August 23, 2021
Construction Executive

According to RentCafé®, more than one-third of U.S. cities are upgrading apartment spaces (increasing in most cases by approximately 50 square feet), allowing for new trends following the COVID-19 pandemic, including home offices.

In fact, 36% of cities surveyed are building larger apartments, with 51% graduating to house two bedrooms. Of those expanding, Everett, Washington, is the leader, with the most apartments in construction. Urban areas are also on the list, with Charlotte, North Carolina, and Chicago making the top 20 as well. The largest apartments are being built in Everett (1,195 average square feet); Scottsdale, Arizona (1,139 average square feet) and Athens, Georgia (1,132 average square feet).

Reprinted courtesy of Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.

U.K. Homebuilding Drives Construction Growth to 24-Year High

August 16, 2021
Reed Landberg - Bloomberg

Britain’s construction industry expanded at the fastest pace in 24 years, driven by a surge in homebuilding that’s starting to push up inflation.

IHS Markit said its key index of purchasing managers jumped to 66.3 in June. Economists had forecast a modest slowdown. The strength of demand strained the ability of supply chains to keep up and fueled the biggest increase in purchasing costs since the survey began in 1997.

Northern Virginia's Premier Home Builder Unveils Sustainable Modular Homes

August 10, 2021
Van Metre Homes

Sustainability has recently become a major factor that homebuyers consider. Joseph Wheeler, professor of architecture at Virginia Tech School of Architecture and Design, explains that "[Modular construction gives] the builder control of a hundred percent of the job" especially since 95% of the modular home's pieces are created in Van Metre's Winchester, VA factory. Not only is this more efficient than traditional home building, but it also prevents waste as it allows Van Metre builders to order materials down to the exact dimension in bulk.

About Van Metre Homes
Van Metre Homes has been Virginia's premier home builder for nearly seven decades. Van Metre properties can be found in several cities across Loudoun, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick, and Prince William counties. Not only has Van Metre continued to innovate and build state of the art homes, but their years dedicated to service, quality and philanthropic work have been recognized by the community and resulted in over 70 awards.

A Housing Frenzy Is Sparking Bidding Wars From New York to Shenzhen

August 4, 2021
Bloomberg News

Around the world, property markets are going bananas.

From the U.S. to the U.K. to China, housing is riding an extended boom. Global valuations are soaring at the fastest pace since 2006, according to Knight Frank, with annual price increases in double digits. Frothy markets are flashing the kind of bubble warnings that haven’t been seen since the run up to the financial crisis, a Bloomberg Economics analysis shows.

New York May Miss the Window to Convert Hotels to Affordable Housing

July 25, 2021
Martin Z Braun - Bloomberg

Hotel vacancies during the Covid-19 pandemic have created a once-in-a-generation opportunity to quickly expand affordable housing in some of America’s most expensive regions.

Lawmakers in California and New York have acted on the moment with new policies. But so far, New York is proposing to spend too little, and at too slow a pace, to seize the opportunity, advocates say. California, meanwhile, has taken a more aggressive approach that has already helped create about 6,000 new units of housing.

White House Meets Builders, Unions on Home Shortage

July 19, 2021
Eric Martin - Bloomberg

The White House held a meeting with representatives from across the homebuilding industry on Friday as President Joe Biden seeks to address a housing supply shortage that’s spurring a record increase in home prices.

Top Biden administration officials sat down with representatives from across the supply chain, including builders, housing advocates, lumber companies, real estate firms, loggers and labor unions, the White House said in a statement. Builders cite high materials prices, scarce supplies and a dearth of skilled workers as ongoing challenges in the race to complete new homes.

Hits Keep Coming to Boston's Fenway Neighborhood

July 11, 2021
Scott Van Voorhis - Engineering News-Record

Just a decade or two ago, Boston's Fenway Park stadium was surrounded by a smattering of surface parking lots, fast-food joints, gas stations and sports bars, an odd slice of Route 1-style suburban sprawl in the heart of the city.

ENR may be contacted at

Top U.S. Lumber Maker Sees Decade of Strong Building Demand

July 5, 2021
Marcy Nicholson - Bloomberg

The home-building and renovation boom could keep wood demand strong for the next decade, the biggest U.S. lumber producer said Tuesday.

In anticipation, Weyerhaeuser Co. is eyeing forests and sawmills so it can expand output of boards and planks, Chief Executive Officer Devin Stockfish told the Nareit REITweek 2021 Investor Conference on Tuesday. The Seattle-based company already owns 11 million acres of American timberland.

Housing Boom Helps Prop Up 5.6% Annualized Growth in Canada

June 28, 2021
Shelly Hagan - Bloomberg

Canada’s economy continued its recovery from pandemic damage in the first quarter, driven by a surge in home construction.

Gross domestic product expanded at a 5.6% annualized rate in the three-month period, after a revised 9.3% pace at the end of last year, according to a report Tuesday from Statistics Canada. That’s slightly below the 6.8% median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Housing investment grew at an annualized 43% pace, easily the biggest driver of growth.

RBA Sees Residential Construction Rising Further, Boosting Costs

June 21, 2021
Michael Heath - Bloomberg

New-home building is set to rise further in coming months and remain elevated for the remainder of the year, the Reserve Bank of Australia said in documents dated from April released under Freedom of Information.

“This has led to construction delays and higher input costs, which are beginning to flow through to prices for detached housing,” the RBA said in a section titled ‘liaison on current conditions.’” “Housing starts are expected to peak around May in most states. However, the peak is expected to be closer to September in New South Wales, reflecting longer time to commencement.”

New York City Pensions to Fund $250 Million Apartment Venture

June 14, 2021
Oshrat Carmiel - Bloomberg

For New York City’s pension funds, there’s no time like now to invest in new apartments.

The two largest retirement systems -- covering public school teachers and municipal employees -- are teaming up with developer Hudson Cos., to allocate $250 million for construction of middle-income housing in the city and surrounding suburbs, the developer said.

Housing Is So Hot That U.S. Builders Have to Stop Taking Orders

June 7, 2021
Prashant Gopal & Jordan Yadoo - Bloomberg

Across the U.S., house prices are skyrocketing, bidding wars are the norm and supply is scarcer than ever. Now the market is too hot even for homebuilders.

Demand is so fevered -- and construction costs are climbing so quickly -- that overwhelmed builders are suppressing orders and shifting away from fixed prices. Companies including D.R. Horton Inc. and Lennar Corp. are experimenting with blind auctions in areas such as Texas, Florida and southern California. Some smaller firms have stopped signing contracts altogether.

Reprinted courtesy of Prashant Gopal, Bloomberg and Jordan Yadoo, Bloomberg

U.S. Homebuilder Confidence Steady as Low Rates Buck High Costs

May 31, 2021
Payne Lubbers - Bloomberg

Confidence among U.S. homebuilders stabilized in May despite rising costs and shrinking availability of most construction materials.

A gauge of builder sentiment held at 83, National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo data showed Monday. The reading matched the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Since the start of the year, the measure has held within a two-point range.

Builders Scour for Cheaper Lumber as Futures Prices Tumble

May 24, 2021
Marcy Nicholson - Bloomberg

U.S. lumber futures tumbled from a record high for the sixth straight session, pushing some builders to the sidelines while they wait for even lower prices during North America’s boom in home construction.

The price of lumber for July delivery has dropped 23% from its May 10 peak of $1,733.50 per 1,000 board feet -- a level then that was more than four times higher than a year ago. Prices have fallen for six straight days, marking the longest streak for declines since September.

Canadian Lumber Producers to Expand U.S. Mills Amid Home Boom

May 17, 2021
Marcy Nicholson & Daniela Sirtori-Cortina - Bloomberg

North American lumber companies plan to ramp up production by expanding existing mills as strong home construction fuels the need for more wood.

West Fraser Timber Co., the world’s biggest lumber producer, plans to expand capacity at five of its lumber mills in the U.S. South. Interfor Corp. is rebuilding a sawmill in Georgia that is on track for completion by the end of 2021. Both companies expect home-building and renovation demand to continue supporting strong prices for wood products in the near future.

Beverly Hills Homeowner Scores $83 Million Loan to Expand Mansion

May 10, 2021
Suzanne Woolley, Tom Maloney & Benjamin Stupples - Bloomberg

It’s very L.A.: Dream big and borrow big.

Byron Allen, a former comedian and television host who’s now an entertainment mogul, is borrowing as much as $82.8 million tied to his Beverly Hills mansion, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.

Canary Wharf May Scrap Planned Office Skyscraper for Apartments

May 3, 2021
Olivia Konotey-Ahulu - Bloomberg

The main landlord in London’s Canary Wharf financial district is considering scrapping plans for a new office skyscraper and building a 60-story apartment tower instead.

Canary Wharf Group is consulting with local authorities about the potential for building around 700 homes at its 1 Park Place site that would be purpose-built for tenants, according to an application on the Tower Hamlets council website. The firm had won initial permission in 2015 for a one million square foot office building, the equivalent of two Gherkin skyscrapers.


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