October 13th, 2013

Housing Market Looking Good for 2014

Categories: Custom Builder News | Tags: , ,

Custom homebuilders have enjoyed 2013 as a great year for the housing market. In this post we’ll take a look at what made 2013 a great year for builders, what potential roadblocks the market will encounter in 2014, and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) predicts numbers for the coming year.

There are several factors that have helped make 2013 a prosperous year for custom homebuilders. As the economy continues to recover from the recession, the market is able to support a necessary increase in new home prices. College graduates and young adults, forced to move back in with family or find roommates, are finally able to afford a mortgage. The market had been producing 1.4 million units at its height, but fell to a low of 500,000 during the recession.

NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe explains, “The cards are in play for a decent and fairly strong recovery in 2014 and particularly in 2015. From the standpoint of GDP growth, housing has been a plus, growing at two, three and four times the rate of the rest of the economy in recent quarters.”

However, the 18% increase in housing starts custom builders have experienced this year have not come without struggles. First, the announcement in July of an increase in mortgage rates slowed sales for the time period following the announcement. Credit conditions have also been made more strict, making it more difficult to qualify for a mortgage in the first place; as of January 10, however, the Ability-to-Repay rule will lessen these tight conditions.

Due to the recent increase in sales, the supply of available new houses has decreased. Scarcity of labor and a low supply of building materials have made it tougher for companies to start counteracting the currently low inventory. This has also led to an increase in new home prices for both single-family and multi-family units.

The National Association of Home Builders predicts that the end of 2013 will mark 924,000 total housing starts, up 18% from 2012’s 783,000 units. Housing starts for multi-family units are predicted to increase by 20% for the year, with single-family starts coming in at 17%.  According to NAHB projections, we can expect to see an additional 31% increase in 2014, which is excellent news for custom builders across the United States.

September 29th, 2013

Sales Up Nearly 8 Percent in August

Categories: Custom Builder News, Homebuilding | Tags: , , ,

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports that new home sales of single-family units are up 7.9 percent for the month of August, 2013. This figure translates to a seasonally-adjusted rate of 421,000 units in August, which is great news for production and custom builders alike.

These new figures come from the Department of Housing and Urban Development in conjunction with the US Census Bureau. August’s sales increase partially offsets a dip in sales from July, as homebuyers reacted to the new increase in mortgage rates.

Rick Judson, NAHB chairman and North Carolina homebuilder, further explained the chain of events. “Consumers are adjusting to the reality of today’s higher rates following a period of record-setting lows, and today’s sales report provides evidence of that.”

Judson continued, “We expect to see more buyers coming back to the market as the psychological effects of the rate gains continue to wear off, particularly since, even after the recent spike, mortgage rates remain exceptionally favorable on a historic basis.”

In August, NAHB reported that new home sales plummeted by 13.4% for the month of July, due to the recently-announced increase in mortgage rates. While rates continue to remain historically low, homebuyers are still getting comfortable with the new rate announcement in July. August’s nearly 8% increase in sales reflects a growing homebuyer confidence.

“Sales of new homes bounced partway back in August from an unusual low in July,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. Crowe furthered, “That said, we are only about halfway back to what would be considered a sustainable level of activity in a normal economy, and the ongoing housing recovery continues to be slowed by consumers’ concerns about interest rates, as well as weak job growth and uncertainty about what’s happening in Washington.”

The Midwest posted a sales increase of 19.6 percent, the South gained at 15.3 percent, and the Northeast posted gains of 8.8 percent. The West, as an exception to the rule, posted a 14.6 percent decline.

Custom builders should breathe a sigh of relief when it comes to the news of August’s sales increase. The overall new single-family home supply decreased by 5.0% in August, and builders can safely continue to construct new homes without worrying whether they’ll sell. NAHB reports that many metro markets are improving across the country as well.

September 16th, 2013

Record Number of Markets Improving in September

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According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) on September 9, a record high of 291 metro areas were listed in the Improving Markets Index, or IMI. This shows a gain of 44 markets since August and is an all-time high for the IMI’s list since it was first used 2 years ago.

As a custom builder, what does this mean for you?

First, it means things are going well. The Improving Markets Index only includes metro areas whose markets have shown at least 6 months increase in each of the following categories: housing prices, housing permits issued, and employment growth. These figures are collected from Freddie Mac, the US Census Bureau, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, respectively.

Increased employment means individuals will have more income and perhaps be able to finally afford a custom home. Increased housing prices shows that homebuyers’ wallets are healthier and can afford custom. More housing permits means more development, and it’s a safe time to be expanding your builder business.

“Just over 80 percent of the 361 metros tracked by our index are showing consistent growth in three key measures of housing market strength – prices, permits and employment,” said National Association of Home Builders’ Chairman Rick Judson. Judson, a homebuilder himself, continued, “While there is still plenty of room for growth, this is an excellent indication of how the housing recovery has begun to take hold across more geographic areas.”

Indeed, the number of improving markets increased not in a single geographic isolated area, but across the country in cities like St. Cloud, Minnesota; Spokane, Washington; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Brownsville, Texas. Custom builders across the country can expect to see a continuation of the already-strong housing market.

“The dramatic increase in markets qualifying for the IMI in September was partly due to a recent improvement in the way that Freddie Mac measures home prices, which resulted in stronger gains than previously reported,” explained NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Even so, the broadened list of metros on the IMI continues to demonstrate the slow but steady gains that individual housing markets are making to bolster the national outlook.”

A full list of the 291 improving markets can be viewed here.

August 6th, 2013

New Homes by a Top Memphis Builder

Categories: Custom Homebuilders, Homebuilding | Tags: , , ,

One of the few custom builders in Tennessee founded and ran by a woman, Magnolia Homes is proud to be different. President and Founder Karen Garner explains, “Success doesn’t come from the design or even the construction. It’s the owner’s commitment to uncompromising standards, and respecting the importance of your role in the lives of your homeowners.”

Garner’s right, and you can see the difference in the homes built by Magnolia. They’re solid, smartly designed, and offer a lifestyle like none other thanks to their construction and layout. Since 2008 they’ve been voted as the #1 Builder by Magnolia Homeowners. They’ve been a member of the Memphis Area Home Builders Association since 1987 and the Better Business Bureau since 1988.

These homes are built according to energy efficient standards and guidelines, reducing homeowner utility and replacement costs. Residents are satisfied with the utility costs. One happy client said, “Now that I have gotten through the summer months in my new home, to let you know my latest MLGW bill (for October), $64.09 was the damage. I can’t thank you enough. I think the highest MLGW bill for the summer was around $160-$170, which is remarkable for a home the size of mine.”

Each Magnolia Home comes with a 10 year warranty. Karen personally walks through each home before closing to ensure everything is up to code and up to her standards of satisfaction; the end result is that homebuyers have few warranty requests thanks to the diligence of both the contractors and Ms. Garner. The first year covers construction, year two includes systems (behind your walls), and years 3-10 cover structural aspects.

This Tennessee builder is proud to offer a military discount of up to 2% on their homes. They build in the Winstead Farms of Lakeland neighborhood, located just 30 minutes from the military base at Millington.

In addition to being near to the Millington military base, Magnolia builds near the exciting city of Memphis, named one of the Top 100 Most Fun Cities in the United States by in 2010. With a low cost of living, good employment prospects, many young professionals, and plenty of cultural entertainment, Memphis is a perfect city for anyone looking to relocate.

For Magnolia homeowners, prospective buyers, or those interested in Memphis real estate, their blog is a easy way to stay updated. Once a week, you can check out a new post on their blog. Topics range from home staging tips, news on the housing market, reasons to buy/sell, and more. Their social media guru Jenna keeps their Facebook page, Twitter account, and Youtube videos up-to-date.

Whether you’re looking to relocate or looking for a new home in the Memphis area, Magnolia Homes has the right charm, price, and quality for just about any homeowner. Contact them today to get started on your dream home.

July 20th, 2012

Housing Production on the Rise

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In the month of June, housing production rose nationwide by 6.9%, to a seasonally adjusted rate of 760,000 home units. According to these newly released figures from the US Census Bureau and HUB, this is the fastest rate of new homes construction since October 2008.

“What’s especially encouraging is that, as consumers realize the advantages of purchasing a newly built home while prices and interest rates are so favorable, builders are able to put more crews back to work on construction sites across the country,” said National Association of Home Builders chairman and Florida builder Barry Rutenedge. He continued, “his in turn is helping spur local economic growth, and policymakers need to be very careful to not take any steps that would derail the beginnings of such a positive trend at this crucial time.”

This is the fourth consecutive month single-family housing rates have risen. Multifamily rates have risen 12.8%, keeping pace with the increasing demand for rental units.

Regionally, combined single and multifamily homes housing has risen 36.9% in the West and 22.2% in the Northeast, but fell 7.3% in the Midwest and 4.2% in the South during the month of June. Declines were due to monthly volatility on the multifamily units, as single-family homes showed increases in every region during June.

This increase is good news for all home builders. It shows an increase in interest in the housing market from consumers, who are starting to feel more secure about buying a new home and more comfortable with the market. For more information, check out this article by the National Association of Home Builders.

April 11th, 2012

Houston home sales best in the country

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According to the latest forecast, Houston is going to top the country in new home sales this year!  The Dallas News reports predictions for new home sales in the city as topping 12,000 units in 2012. And that’s very good news for our custom home builders.

As a luxury custom homebuilder in Houston, Bella Vita offers the finest subcontractors, suppliers, and artists for custom homebuilding in Houston. They have twelve communities for Houston custom homes. Having sold over $77 million in custom homes, Bella Vita is dedicated to superb quality with efficiency.

Another luxury custom homebuilder in Houston, WhiteStone Custom Homes calls their style “Practical Luxury”™. They have a unique design/build process that can put you in your new Houston custom home in as little as sixth months after the day you walked into their model. WhiteStone has seven communities for custom homes in Houston.

Grand View Builders is a custom homebuilder in Houston dedicated to affordable custom homes with interior beauty and exterior style. They have sixteen communities in the area, from the $90’s to the $240’s. Their features include a very successful Build on Your Lot program.

J. Patrick Homes builds custom homes in Houston in some of the finest master-planned communities. They have twelve new home communities as well as ten move-in ready homes in Houston. Their homes feature wide-open views, spacious rooms, and versatile floor plans they are happy to customize.

A Graduate Master Builder, the highest designation available on the State or National level, Keystone Classic Homes is a custom homebuilder in Houston who specializes in the move up and move down buyer market. They have nine communities open for custom homes in Houston. And they offer over 30 foorplans to choose from, ranging 1900 sq. ft. to over 5000 sq. ft, with three decades of experience as a Houston custom homebuilder.

With the market forecast so promising, Houston custom homebuilders are ready for a great year.


April 11th, 2012

Improving market for Dallas custom homes

Categories: Homebuilding | Tags: , ,

The NAHB releases their improving market list this month. This index identifies metropolitan areas which housing markets show measurable improvement. Dallas has improved in housing permits, employment, and house prices for more than six consecutive months. So it’s a great time for custom homebuilding in Dallas. Dallas custom homebuilders are assured of a market holding steady, with consistent improvement.

As a luxury custom homebuilder in Dallas, Bella Vita offers the finest subcontractors, suppliers, and artists for custom homebuilding in the Dallas/Ft Worth area. They have fourteen communities for Dallas custom homes, including Highland Park and The Creeks at Preston Hollow.

Shaddock Homes is another luxury custom homebuilder in Dallas, with over 40 years of experience. They’ve earned a reputation for distinctive designs, superior craftsmanship, and homeowner satisfaction in Dallas custom homebuilding. They have nine communities for Dallas custom homes, from the $300’s to the high $600’s.

American Legend Homes offers a wide variety of custom homes in Dallas, including move-in ready, single-family, low maintenance garden homes, and luxury townhomes. Priced from the $170s to $600s, this Dallas custom homebuilder is dedicated to innovative design and unparalleled customer service. They have fifteen communities for Dallas custom homes, including the fast selling Royal Oaks.

Since 1957, Sandlin Custom Homes has been building custom homes in Dallas, family-owned and operated and the winner of multiple awards. They have twenty communities for custom homes in Dallas, from the $130’s to the $400’s. As a Dallas custom homebuilder, Sandlin concentrates on innovative homes that have superior quality for exceptional value.

Another great Dallas custom homebuilder is Cheldan Homes. They are focused on just one rule: to make creating, buying, and building your new home simple. They are an extreme green builder, for economic, health, and environmental benefits. These efforts also improve the general community, important for custom homes in Dallas. They have eight communities in the area, including Arbor Heights. Their Dallas custom homes offer world-class client care, during and for long after your home purchase.

The security and growth of the Dallas home market is a very good sign for both custom homebuilder and custom home buyer alike.

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