A Shortage of Residential Housing Lots Suitable for Building

Home construction is on pace to hit a post-recession high this year, but a fundamental problem is preventing an even sharper ramp-up: a shortage of places to put the units.

Builders are increasingly complaining of a dearth [shortage] of developed lots, a crunch that’s becoming more prominent as housing starts pick up. They blame restrictive regulations, limited financing for lot development and buyers’ growing preference to live in or near cities, where there’s little unused land.

“It’s likely limiting the number of new homes for sale,” says David Crowe, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). And, he adds, tighter supplies are “raising the price of a house.”

New home sales fell 11.5% in September, the Commerce Department said Monday, but they’re still up 18% for the year and builders’ sales expectations are at a 10-year high. NAHB expects 1.1 million housing starts this year, which is up from 1 million in 2014 and the most since the 2007 real estate crash, but still short of the 1.5 million historical average.

One reason starts aren’t accelerating faster is the shortage of developed lots. Typically, a developer installs infrastructure such as roads, water and sewer lines on a vacant parcel of land and sells the tract to a builder who then constructs a subdivision. Earlier this year, 57% of builders said they expect the cost and availability of developed lots to be among their most significant problems in 2015, up from the 46% who rated it a big issue in 2013.

Among the reasons:  read more —>  http://www.usatoday.com/

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The Top 10 Features for New Homes

The outdoor kitchen and two-story foyers are starting to lose favor among new home shoppers, while energy efficiency and bigger closets are gaining in popularity, according to a new survey from the National Association of Home Builders. NAHB asked builders to rank home features from 1 to 5 on how likely they were to include them this year in single-family homes they build this year.

An increased interest in energy efficiency is decreasing interest in two-story foyers and rooms, Rose Quint, NAHB’s assistant vice president for survey research, told MarketWatch. “Consumers consider those spaces to be energy inefficient,” she says.

Here are some of the least likely features that builders say they will include in new homes this year:

  1. Outdoor kitchen (cooking, refrigeration, and sink)
  2. Laminate countertops in kitchen
  3. Outdoor fireplace
  4. Sunroom
  5. Two-story family room
  6. Media room
  7. Two-story foyer
  8. Walking/jogging trails in community
  9. Whirlpool in master bathroom
  10. Carpeting as flooring on main level

On the other hand, these home features, builders say, are most likely to be included in a new home this year:

  1. Walk-in closet in master bedroom
  2. Laundry room
  3. Low-e windows
  4. Guest room (kitchen-family-room-living room)
  5. Energy-star rated appliances
  6. 9-foot ceiling or more on first floor
  7. Energy-star rated windows
  8. Programmable thermostat
  9. Two-car garage
  10. Granite countertop in kitchen

courtesy of:  http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/

New Homes Increasingly Offer Efficiency, Sustainable Features

During New Homes Month in April, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is showing how new homes increasingly offer the energy-efficient features home buyers seek. Surveys indicate that efficiency is among the most-wanted features of home buyers and that builders are responding to this demand.

“Our builder members are telling us that more and more buyers are looking at new homes for their efficiency in design and functionality,” said NAHB chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo. “Whether it’s improved insulation or sustainable building materials, today’s new homes can reach higher energy performance and greater durability than was possible even 20 years ago. And programs like the National Green Building Standard help consumers achieve their efficiency needs.”

As more Millennials enter the housing market, they are sharing what features are most likely to affect their home buying decisions. An NAHB survey revealed that Energy Star certifications are a priority for these home buyers. In fact, 84 percent of this group is willing to pay 2-3 percent more for an energy-efficient home as long as they can see a return on their power bills.

NAHB also surveyed home builders about the features they are most likely to include in new homes they build this year. Four of the top 10 features focused on energy efficiency: low-E windows, Energy Star-rated appliances and windows and programmable thermostats.

Some home buyers are looking for even more sustainable features, prompting an increasing number of single-family and multifamily builders to deliver green homes. Green builders incorporate energy, water and resource efficiency; improved indoor environmental quality and sustainable and locally sourced products into their projects.

An NAHB survey of single-family home builders revealed that nearly 25 percent of builders installed alternative energy-producing equipment in new construction. This includes geothermal heat pumps and photovoltaic solar panels. The current 30-percent tax credit available for homeowners who install this equipment is set to expire at the end of 2016, which makes this a good time for interested buyers to consider purchases.

Home buyers can access home buying and home building information and resources at nahb.org/forconsumers.

courtesy of:  http://www.nahb.org/news_details.aspx?sectionID=122&newsID=17211

Single-Family Housing Poised to Take Off in 2015

A growing economy, rising household formations, low mortgage rates, and pent-up demand will help single-family housing production rev up in 2015, while a growth in renters will keep the multifamily market at cruising altitude or higher, according to economists who participated in the latest National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) 2014 Fall Construction Forecast.

NAHB is forecasting 991,000 total housing starts in 2014, up 6.6 percent from 930,000 units last year.

Single-family production is expected to rise 2.5 percent this year to 637,000 units, increase an additional 26 percent next year to 802,000, and reach 1.1 million in 2016.

Setting the 2000-2003 period as a benchmark for normal housing activity when single-family production averaged 1.3 million units annually, single-family starts are expected to steadily rise from 48 percent of what is considered a typical market in the third quarter of 2014 to 90 percent of normal by the fourth quarter of 2016.   More info —> 

courtesy of:  http://www.nahb.org/

CA’s Improving Housing Markets Includes San Diego

NOTICE BELOW, FROM THE LOWEST POINT IN OUR MOST RECENT RECESSION, SAN DIEGO STANDS AT AN 2.3% INCREASE IN HOUSING PERMITS THAT BUILDERS HAVE PULLED WITH THE CITY/COUNTY FOR RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION. 

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?  BECAUSE BUILDERS ARE WATCHING THE MARKET JUST LIKE THE REST OF US AND THEY ALSO SEE THE HOUSING MARKET PICKING UP – SO THE SCRAMBLE IS ON TO GET MORE PROPERTIES ON THE MARKET AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE INCREASED BUYER DEMAND FOR HOUSING PURCHASES!  THIS IS A VERY GOOD SIGN ……… see the graphic below for more info.

Improving CA Markets