Friday, October 30, 2015

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 10/30/15


Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 10/30/15 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Pending home sales dipped in September but still up 3.0 percent year-over-year
  • Third quarter 2015 GDP growth fell to 1.5 percent in advance estimate
  • Mortgage applications fall 3.5 percent in latest survey as rates inched back up
  • Initial unemployment claims rise by 1,000 but 4-week average still at lowest level since Dec. 1973
  • Federal Reserve leaves interest rates unchanged for now
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 10/29/15

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 10/29/15 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Case-Shiller National Index rose 0.3 percent in August and 4.7 percent year-over-year
  • Durable goods orders fell 1.2 percent in September, but core capital goods orders still rose 0.5 percent
  • Consumer confidence dipped in October after modest gain in September
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Generational Shifts in Home Buying: A 2015 NAR Report Reveals Interesting Insights

Recently, the National Association of Realtors® released their 2015 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report, which analyses the differences between recent home buyers and sellers of various age groups. The report is chock full of interesting insights, such as the continued importance of partnering up with a real estate agent for younger buyers even after having done considerable research online.

Moreover, as the housing market continues to emerge from the Great Recession, one trend has been made abundantly clear:  Despite the considerable headwinds facing Generation Y as they came of age often saddled with student debts, car loans, stagnant wages and tighter mortgage standards, they have continued to persevere, and in 2015 accounted for the nearly one-third of home buyers.

At the same time, Baby Boomers accounted for almost as many sales (split among 16 percent younger Boomers and 15 percent older Boomers), while Generation Xers followed behind at 27 percent.  The Silent Generation accounted for just 10 percent of recent sales activity.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, believes that the survey once again underscores the still-untapped demand for owning homes among young adults, reporting that over 80 percent of both Gen X and Gen Y buyers view their home purchase as solid investment.  As opposed to renting in today’s market -- in which tenants can expect to see annual increases of three to five percent -- they’re counting on the predictable, fixed payments made available by a traditional mortgage.

Of course selling to these different generations also requires a more customized approach than we might have seen in years past, in which the same traditional sales office, model home complex, well-crafted brochure and robust Web site could market just as effectively to distinct age groups.

For example, although 65 percent of married couples buy today’s homes (with another 8 percent of unmarried couples making the plunge), single women are almost as twice as likely to buy a home than their male counterparts.  However, given that 65 percent of all buyers do not have children, forcing them to choose among resale homes in suburbs originally designed mostly for families can often be a marketing challenge.

In addition, the rising importance of multi-generational homes -- accounting for 13 percent of recent sales -- has seemingly risen in lockstep with a higher share of foreign-born buyers, especially to middle-aged heads of households born in the 1970s.  However, given that 70 percent of buyers continue to choose suburban locations, it seems that many want to leave their options open, whether that means future children, a grown child moving back into the home, or aging parents and in-laws who may need additional supervision from family members.

Today’s buyers also rely much more on the Internet to conduct their own research, ranging from about one-third for older buyers to just over half for those under age 35.  What this means is that by the time a potential buyer visits an open house or a model complex, they’re probably not looking for information they already know -- they’re seeing if the photos and marketing verbiage matches the reality of seeing it in person, as well as how knowledgeable and trustworthy the sales agent seems.

Moreover, given that more than half of both Generation X and Y buyers started their home search on smartphone devices (with about 25 percent ultimately finding that new home in the same way), it is critical for builders and agents to optimize their Web sites for mobile users.

For younger buyers under age 35, they bring their own unique wish list, such as a premium on convenience to their jobs, a desire to avoid renovation headaches (which bodes well for newer homes if they can afford it) and a need for low down payments.   Yet because of that affordability issue, it’s often those same younger buyers opting more for older homes out of necessity.

For older buyers such as Baby Boomers, when they move it’s often to a smaller home, even if they’re not ready for retirement, and if they’re looking for a freer lifestyle with less home maintenance, new homes with community amenities continue to be quite popular, especially if they plan to stay there for 15 to 20 years.

Finally -- and not surprisingly -- the older the buyer, the less they’re willing to compromise in terms of price, size and condition of the home.  And who can blame them?  After a lifetime of catering to family needs and wants, a low-maintenance home with a view seems like a pretty nice reward for a life well lived.

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 10/27/15

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 10/27/15 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Leading Economic Index declined 0.2 percent in September after two months of no changes
  • September new home sales fall 11.5 percent from August but still up 2.0 percent year-over-year
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Friday, October 23, 2015

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 10/23/15


Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 10/23/15 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Existing home sales rebounded in September, up 8.8 percent year-over-year
  • FHFA House Price Index rose just 0.3 percent in August but up 5.5 percent year-over-year
  • Initial unemployment claims rise by 3,000 in latest report but 4-week average still lowest since Dec. 1973
 Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 10/20/15

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 10/20/15 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • September housing starts rise to nearly an 8-year high, due largely to apartments
  • September building permits fall 5.0 percent form August but still up 4.7 percent year-over-year
  • Mortgage applications rise 11.8 percent in latest survey, mostly due to purchase loans
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

October column for Builder & Developer magazine now online

My column for the October 2015 issue of Builder and Developer magazine is now posted online.  This marks the 25th year anniversary of the magazine!

For this issue, entitled "A Look Back Over 25 Years of Market Strategy," I and other columnists were asked to provide an overview of the changes we've seen in the building industry over the last 25 years.

An excerpt:

Another big change has been the shift from large builders focusing on specific niches -- such as entry-level, move-up or luxury homes -- to broadening their scope depending on local conditions. As a result, the importance of valid, verifiable quantitative market research -- coupled with qualitative local expertise -- has never been more crucial to avoid product, pricing and marketing blunders. 

Having once worked for a builder which went bankrupt trying to grow too fast in new, unfamiliar markets while failing to appropriately address higher marketing and merchandising costs, I can attest that following gut instinct simply doesn’t work as well in a much more complicated world.

To read the entire column, click here.

To read the entire October 2015 issue in digital format, click here.

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 10/20/15

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 10/20/15 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Builder confidence rises three points to 64, or to levels not seen since late 2005
  • Job openings fell about five percent to 5.4 million in August as both hiring and separations remained stable
  • Both industrial production and capacity utilization dipped slightly in September
  • Consumer sentiment rebounds strongly in preliminary October reading
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Friday, October 16, 2015

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 10/16/15


Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 10/16/15 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • CPI fell 0.2 percent in September and essentially flat over previous 12-month period
  • Empire State Manufacturing Index declines for third straight month
  • Philadelphia Fed's Business Outlook Survey weakened again in October
  • Mortgage applications plummet 27.6 percent as new disclosure rules implemented
  • Initial unemployment claims fall by 7,000 in latest report; 4-week moving average lowest since Dec. 1973
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 10/15/15

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 10/15/15 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Producer Price Index fell 0.5 percent in September and 1.1 percent over previous 12 months
  • Retail sales edged up 0.1 percent in September
  • Business inventories flat in August
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 10/13/15

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 10/13/15 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Wholesale inventories rose by 0.1 percent in August
  • Federal Reserve meeting minutes reveal continued optimism about economy
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Friday, October 9, 2015

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 10/9/15


Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 10/9/15 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Initial employment claims fall by 13,000 in latest report
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 10/8/15

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 10/8/15 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Mortgage applications soar in latest survey due to rate volatility and changes in disclosure regulations
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 10/6/15

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 10/6/15 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Job growth dipped to 142,000 in September as unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.1 percent
  • Factory orders fall 1.7 percent in August following slight gain in July
  • Service sector index dropped in September but still well within positive territory
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Friday, October 2, 2015

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 10/2/15


Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 10/2/15 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Construction spending climbed to highest level since 2008 in August
  • Job cuts rose 43 percent in September and up 93 percent year-over-year
  • Initial employment claims rise by 10,000 in latest report
  • Mortgage applications dip 6.7 percent in latest survey as rates remain mostly flat
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 10/1/15

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 10/1/15 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Case-Shiller Home Price Index up 4.7 percent year-over-year in July, up 0.7 percent from previous month
  • Consumer confidence improved modestly in September
  • Chicago Business Barometer declined sharply in September
  • Private sector jobs grew by 200,000 in September, up from 186,000 in August
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.