Tag Archive | "housing"

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Improving Housing Market Bodes Well for Countertop Industry

Posted on 11 October 2012 by cradmin

Far from an optimist, particularly facing what is now being termed as “The Great Recession,” I have to say all of the signs are pointing to a more robust housing market in the works, which ultimately bodes well for the countertop industry. And it’s about time!

According to an article that ran on ForResidentialPros.com in Sept., the second quarter of 2012 showed positive annual growth rates, according to all three headline home-price composites, for the first time in two years. And, as the headline of a Mainline News article touted, National home prices see largest yearly increase since 2006, many agree that the prices homes are fetching on the market are improving. This is a major sign the housing market is on the road to recovery.

Seeing people willing to pay more for homes, indicates that they are buying again, which not only may mean improvements to these properties in the works, but also indicates the number of available homes on the market is lower.

Another indicator is the lessening number of foreclosures, which have been flooding the market with cheap property. According to an article from Reuters issued Oct. 11,  U.S. foreclosures are at their lowest point in 5 years, another good sign that the housing market has hit bottom and is rebounding.

That means we will likely see an uptick in new home building.

The National Association of Home Builders’ “Improving Market” indicator is also at a high, according to a recent report, which concurs with the other evidence.

So those in the countertop market who had been leveraged in the builder market when it dropped off a cliff in 2007, may now want to cautiously put a toe in the water and see if they can begin to get additonal business there.

It is doubtful we will see a level of activity near the peaks around 2006 any time soon, but with the unemployment rate now under 8 percent, these positive signs for the housing market make it difficult to be too much of a pessimist about 2013.

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List of Improving Housing Markets Now Above 100

Posted on 08 October 2012 by cradmin

A total of 103 housing markets across the United States qualified to be listed on the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) for October. This is up from 99 markets listed as improving in September and is the largest number of metros on the IMI since it was created one year ago. A total of 33 states and the District of Columbia are represented on the October list.

The index identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months. Markets added to the list in October include such geographically diverse locations as Santa Cruz, Calif.; Pocatello, Idaho; Abilene, Texas; and Savannah, Ga.

“While 11 new housing markets were designated as improving in October, 92 metros retained their spots on the IMI and just seven slipped from the list,” noted Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. “This is an encouraging sign that the housing recovery is proceeding at a steady pace as firming prices and employment help spur new building activity, which in turn generates new jobs and more home sales.”

“The fact that most markets are maintaining their spots on the improving list from month to month is an important indication that the recovery trend is solidifying,” agreed NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “At the same time, overly tight credit conditions are certainly constraining consumers’ ability to purchase homes as well as builders’ ability to construct them.”

“The expansion of the improving markets list to more than 100 metros marks an important milestone on the road to recovery,” noted Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman at First American Title Insurance Company. “For potential buyers across the country, it is becoming increasingly apparent that now is a good time to explore a new-home purchase.”

The IMI is designed to track housing markets throughout the country that are showing signs of improving economic health. The index measures three sets of independent monthly data to get a mark on the top improving Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The three indicators that are analyzed are employment growth from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, house price appreciation from Freddie Mac and single-family housing permit growth from the U.S. Census Bureau. NAHB uses the latest available data from these sources to generate a list of improving markets. A metropolitan area must see improvement in all three measures for at least six months following those measures’ respective troughs before being included on the improving markets list.

A complete list of all 103 metropolitan areas currently on the IMI, and separate breakouts of metros newly added to or dropped from the list in October, is available at www.nahb.org/imi.

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