Financial Friday

March 23, 2018

New Housing Construction Still Struggling To Meet Buyer Demand

A reduction in multi-family housing units offset a second straight monthly increase (2.9%) in single-family projects, resulting in a 7% overall decline in Housing Starts in February. Single-family home construction rose in the Northeast, South and West, but tumbled in the Midwest.

Housing Permits fell 5.7% from January to 1.3 million permits. Permits to build single-family homes slipped 0.6% in February to 872,000 permits, while approvals for multifamily starts came in at 385,000.

Completions rose 7.8% to 1.32 million. Completions for single-family units totaled 895,000 (up 3%), while multifamily completions totaled 418,000.

Builder confidence dipped in March, falling for the third consecutive month. However, it is still at a high level historically, according to the latest Housing Market Index released by the National Association of Home Builders.

The NAHB attributes builders’ optimism to the growing consumer demand for housing and confidence in the market. However, they are finding it difficult to obtain lots, which could limit their ability to meet demand

Convincing First-Time Buyers That Now Is A Great Time To Buy A Home

The Fed called for a 25 basis point increase at the conclusion of the Central Bank’s two-day Open Market Committee meeting on Wednesday. With economists predicting three to four adjustments in 2018, we’ve gathered data to convince first-time home buyers that they cannot afford to wait any longer to get into the housing market.

We know that low inventory is contributing to rising sales prices so we’ve also provided a few tips to help homebuyers maximize their budget so they can purchase a home sooner rather than later. Share the post with your clients via social media to increase business:

Insider Tips To Winning Spring Listings

Getting new listings may be more competitive this spring as listing agents compete for few homes. Here are the tactics and approaches that one agent uses to grow her business, stay ahead of the competition, and manage her time most effectively.

What are the three most effective things you do every day to grow your business?
1. Focus on opportunities to talk to real people in real time by calling, meeting or attending some event.
2. Write at least two handwritten note cards a day.
3. Read books, articles and social media posts from thoughtful and interesting business people and community members.

What tactics do you use for driving referrals and winning listing presentations?
Demonstrate deep expertise and mastery of all the aspects of a transaction — education of the client, preparation, marketing, logistics, negotiation and problem-solving. Then we present everything from the perspective of “what’s in it for the client” rather than how great you are.

How do you handle working with sellers on pricing?
Start with macro trends and move down into their specific home and how it relates to today’s marketplace. Show the seller how buyers think about value and guide the sellers in an exercise that helps them see, clearly, the price range their home fits into. Then explain the strategy of setting a list price and let them choose a list price based on the sales experience they desire.

Construction Material Prices Continue To Climb In February

According to an Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) analysis of information provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), February’s construction material prices increased 0.7% since January’s climb and 5.2% since February 2017. The materials that saw the largest gains were crude petroleum (16.6%), softwood lumber (15.6%), unprocessed energy materials (9.4%), iron and steel (7.1%), and steel mill products (4.8%). New tariffs and U.S. economic policy have affected the prices for steel, aluminum and softwood lumber, although steel prices were already on the rise.

Five Forces Reshaping Floor Plan Design in 2018

Floor plans are changing. Here’s how builders, architects, and designers find balance between tried-and-true floor plans and those that push the envelope.

1. Open Living Spaces that provide airy and welcoming living, sleeping, and eating spaces across a flexible layout are key. 70% of recent and prospective home buyers preferred a home with either a completely or partially open kitchen–family room arrangement.

2. Outdoor Rooms that are functional year-round, and are as much a part of the home as its interior spaces. Shading and heating products plus audio and video technology make it possible to extend entertaining spaces to the outdoors, adding usable square footage to the home. The demand for homes with outdoor features has nearly doubled since 2010.

3. Land and Labor Hurdles are forcing builders to adapt floor plans as buyers don’t want to give up components of a home, such as a first-story suite, flex rooms, or outdoor spaces, in high-density markets. A roof deck instead of a back deck or a one car garage in narrow urban infill lots. The labor shortage has firms working to design floor plans that are more inherently simple and straightforward to construct.

4. Accommodating an Aging Population with accessible, single-story housing in a tight land market is challenging. Multigenerational floor plans are very attractive for move-ups and long-term buyers.

5. Marketing and Merchandising a floor plan is just as essential to its success as its design. For instance, whether it’s a first home, step-up, or the final move, marketing the idea of “right-sizing” to match a homeowner’s present lifestyle is more attractive than downsizing.

floor plan designs



Information Courtesy of Jason Browning – Certainty Home Loans 

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