Four Things to Know Before Building a New Home

Homes are incredibly complicated structures with a wide variety of moving parts that require different industry professionals, such as architects, engineers and builders, to put the pieces into place. Four things to know before embarking on new construction are: buying new doesn’t have to mean spending more; always have a home inspection; pay attention to insurance premiums; and expect the unexpected. U.S. New & World Report delves into the specifies of each note in its recent article, beginning with the first of them mentioned above. According to the article, Although…

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Driving Efficiency in Challenging Times with Structural Building Components

By Jess Lohse Builders and developers continue to face unprecedented challenges as increased interest rates pressure housing affordability. Current rate levels jeopardize many multifamily housing projects and have many builders working to “do more with less” on single family projects. Times like these cause builders to revert to basics and analyze procurement and construction techniques. It may be tempting to apply pressure to subcontractors and suppliers to increase their scope of work while minimizing their price; better value can be found in soliciting their thoughts for efficiency and improvements to…

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Seven Percent of Builders Now Build Barndominiums

Barndominium: a structure that is, in some sense, a combination barn and condominium A rising term in the industry, barndominiums are becoming increasingly widespread in real estate media outlets. Even more so, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) included the term in a questions in its February 2024 NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. The survey yielded a response of a total of 7% of single-family builders are indeed building barndominiums at some point during the past 12 months. According to Eye On Housing, That result, however, leaves open the question…

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Job Growth Continues to be Strong Across Most States

Compared to the previous month, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 42 states and the District of Columbia in January. Eight states saw a decrease. Nationwide total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 229,000 in January, following a gain of 290,000 jobs in December, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment data was most favorable in New York, which added 59,300 jobs on a month-over-month basis. California followed with a 58,000 increase, and then Florida adding 38,000 more jobs. Across those eight states, a total of 17,000 jobs were lost with…

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How to Hire More Women into Construction Roles

With a seemingly never-ending run of labor shortages, contractors may need to turn to a pool left largely untapped, and that is a pool of talented women. Making up 47% of the United States labor force, only 11% of women comprise the construction industry, highlighting a need for hire. Though it may seem simple enough, to hire more women, that is not the case. A compilation of poor recruitment efforts coupled with unfair stereotypes of what women can and can’t do when it comes to the jobsite continues to block…

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Better, Not Bigger, Homes Among Top Design Trends for 2024

LAS VEGAS – Following a brief uptick in new home sizes in 2021, the average size of a new home continues to inch smaller — dropping from 2,479 square feet in 2022 to 2,411 square feet in 2023, the smallest average size in 13 years — to match home buyer preferences for less square footage. According to NAHB’s latest What Home Buyers Really Want study, home buyers are looking for homes around 2,070 square feet, compared to 2,260 20 years ago. “It’s related to two factors that are linked,” said Rose Quint,…

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Single-Family Starts will Rise in 2024 but Supply-Side Challenges Persist

While higher interest rates pushed single-family starts down in 2022 and 2023, production should move on a gradual upward path in 2024 as the Federal Reserve is on track to cut rates during the second half of the year with inflation slowing, according to economists speaking at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas today. “While the Fed’s fight against inflation is building progress, the lingering inflation challenge is housing inflation,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Shelter inflation—rent and homeownership costs—are still rising…

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House Prices Reach a New Peak, But Not Everywhere

By Mark Fleming In November 2023, the Real House Price Index (RHPI) leaped 11 percent on an annual basis. Affordability improved modestly on a monthly basis, as mortgage rates fell from the previous month. Two factors drove the sharp annual decline in affordability – a 7.7 percent annual increase in nominal house prices, according to our First American Data & Analytics House Price Index, and a 0.6 percentage point increase in the 30-year, fixed mortgage rate compared with one year ago. For home buyers, holding prices constant, the only way to…

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Finance is Shaping Homebuilding Today

Resolution and adaptability are key for builders to deliver a much-needed supply of homes By Michael Berke As builders strive to overcome financing obstacles, the challenging environment is fueling clear shifts in the industry. Financing constraints have created disruption and uncertainty for many who fight to commence their projects. Simultaneously, the desire for homeownership remains strong and supply is short. The effort for builders and developers to fill their capital stack has become burdensome. Those projects that still make sense find their home prices increasing to maintain margins. Many fully…

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