Friday, September 19, 2014

September column for Builder & Developer magazine now online

My column for the September 2014 issue of Builder and Developer magazine is now posted online.

For this issue, entitled "The Politics of Drought," I wanted to review the current state of the extreme drought impacting the western U.S. and how the building industry is adapting to it. An excerpt:

"...there are some important differences between this event and the last major drought to hit California in 1976-77, in which the state’s reservoirs plummeted to 41 percent of average. On the demand side, although the state’s population has doubled since the last drought, per-capita water use has also dropped with the use of new water management technologies. It was actually the drought of 1987-92 which marked the beginning of modern water-use practices, including more efficient use of water for agricultural which made more growth in the cities possible...

On the supply side, new homes are actually exponentially more efficient than older ones, especially those with water-hogging plumbing fixtures. According to a report commissioned by the CBIA, an average three-bedroom home with four occupants built today uses 29,000 fewer gallons of water than smaller homes built in 2005..."


To read the entire column, click here.


To read the entire September 2014 issue in digital format, click here.

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 9/19/14

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 9/19/14 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • August building permits fell by 5.6 percent from Muly but still up 5.3 percent year-over-year
  • August housing starts dipped by 14.4 percent from July but still up 8.0 percent year-over-year
  • Initial unemployment claims fall by 36,000 in latest report
  • Mortgage applications rise by 7.9 percent in latest survey even as rates rise to highest level since June 2014
  • Federal Reserve plans for keep interest rates at current levels for considerable time, will end QEIII next month
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 9/18/14

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 9/18/14 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:

  • Builder confidence rises to 59, or highest level since November 2005
  • CPI fell 0.2 percent in August but still up 1.7 percent over previous 12 months
  • Producer Price Index unchanged in August but up 1.8 percent over previous 12 months
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 9/16/14

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 9/16/14 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Retail sales rose strongly in August, July figure revised to small gain
  • Consumer sentiment index for mid-September rises to highest reading since July 2013
  • Business inventories rose 0.4 percent in July as sales increased 0.8 percent
  • Empire State Manufacturing Survey shows robust expansion in September
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Friday, September 12, 2014

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 9/12/14

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 9/12/14 on the Web.


In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Initial unemployment claims rise by 11,000 in latest report, but 4-week average up by just 750
  • August home prices rose 7.8 percent year-over-year and 1.0 percent from previous month
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 9/11/14

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 9/11/14 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:

  • Consumer credit soared in July with biggest jump since November 2001
  • Job openings remained near 13-year high in July as hiring also picked up
  • Wholesale inventories rose by just 0.1 percent in July
  • Mortgage applications fall to lowest level since December 2000 in most recent survey
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 9/9/14

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 9/9/14 on the Web.

In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • Business productivity rose by 2.3 percent in 2Q 2014 as output increased by 5.0 percent
  • Manufacturing sector continued to grow in July
  • Initial unemployment claims rise by 4,000 in latest report
  • Mortgage applications rise by 0.2 percent in latest survey as rates dip to lowest level since June 2013
Want to advertise in the newsletter and reach over 130,000 readers? Contact National Sales Manager Nick Cosan at nkosan@penpubinc.com.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Happy Labor Day Weekend from Housing Chronicles


Happy Labor Day weekend from The Housing Chronicles Blog and MetroIntelligence!

So just what is the history of this holiday marking the end of summer?  Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Founder of Labor Day
More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.

Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”

But Peter McGuire’s place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

The First Labor Day
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

Labor Day Legislation
Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From them developed the movement to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887.

During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

A Nationwide Holiday
The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take were outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.

The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio, and television.

The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.

BuilderBytes' MetroIntelligence Economic Update for 8/29/14

Please click here to see the edition of BuilderBytes for 8/29/14 on the Web.


In this issue of the MetroIntelligence Economic Update, I covered the following indicators:
  • 2Q 2014 GDP rose 4.2 percent in second estimate
  • Initial unemployment claims dip by 1,000 in latest report
  • Mortgage applications rose 2.8 percent in latest survey
  • Initial unemployment claims dip by 14,000 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.