Hello Readers, in print and online.
The election draws near and the world is watching. Folks may not be too pleased with our choices but one way or another, an era is ending and a new one beginning. It is difficult to judge how the new president will deal with housing, lending, the economy, infrastructure, and education. Will he or she help these things, or potentially harm them? The race is tightening, with the finish in sight. Hold on to your hats, it’s going to get interesting.
NAHB reports that last month’s drop in housing starts came along as inventories remained low for new and existing homes. The adjusted pace of single-family starts in August was down 6 percent from the previous month, although year-to-date totals for single-family construction are still up 9 percent from this time last year. Homebuilding has dropped off in the South, largely due to inclement weather and flooding that affected many areas of the Gulf Coast. Nationwide, multi-family starts declined 5.4 percent from July to August. Multi-family development has flattened as the rental apartment market seeks a balance between supply and demand.
July estimates of unfilled construction jobs reached 214,000, which indicates homebuilder confidence is growing stronger. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index for September climbed to a level of 65, matching a post-recession high and suggesting a weak August largely credited to bad weather, will be followed by growth in permits and starts.
NAHB reports also indicate that, nationwide, 59 percent of units under construction are multi-family. The reports share that during the 2000 – 2003 cycle only 30 percent of units were multi-family. The strong growth in 50+ apartment construction is credited as the reason for this. The NAHB’s Eye on Housing Newsletter is an excellent source of market data for homebuilders and folks involved in the homebuilding business alike, and is available from their web site at eyeonhousing.org
2016 is turning out to be another solid growth year for housing, despite headwinds in the broader economy, uncertainty over the elections, mixed signals from the Fed, and a stock market whose valuation metrics are gibberish worthy of a Pulitzer Prize. Builder’s confidence points to an even stronger 2017. We shall see.
On a different note, we are commencing design and engineering while preparing the job site for our next ABC Green Home Project 4.0/RG, which stands for Remodel Green. This will be the eighth home in the project, built using our advertisers’ materials. We are completely remodeling an older mountain home in Southern California and transforming it into a Net Zero home that is beyond the building code and ‘energy self-efficient,’ with solar and battery backup, decks, new bedrooms, modern kitchen, and new bathrooms and living room. The redesigned home will be 1,900 square feet on an 8,500 square foot lot. The design team, led by Architect Chuck Goodman, who worked with us on the first ABC Green Home, is working in BIM software. This will allow us to share the design, materials, engineering and architecture with you in the magazine and online at www.abcgreenhome.com. We plan to begin construction in Q2, 2017.
Work hard, I will see you in the marketplace.