Home Builders find Opportunity to Raise Prices, Finally!

Posted by: BIA Bay Area on July 8, 2013

Over the past few years it’s been no secret that selling homes were home builder’s main concerns, raising prices was often out of the question. Now, as the economy normalizes and home building picks up, builders have the opportunity to slow starts and raise prices.

CNBC reports that “home builders took a big jump in May against a backdrop of flat single family starts.” And why, “[because] they have pricing power.”

California, notably, is feeling the supply pinch quite dramatically where there was a period in May with barely any homes for sale. That alone pushed the median sales price up 32% from one year ago. CNBC reports that while some may call that a “bubble”, sales agents do not.

“While home prices are increasing at levels above those observed in 2006-2007, the fundamentals of the housing market are much more solid than what we experienced a few years ago,” said Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist for the California Association of Realtors. “More home buyers are putting down larger down payments, and many of them are opting for more stable loan products.” (CNBC)

The amount of resale homes are decreasing which drives consumers to look to builders for new homes. The decrease in supply allows builders to drive up prices with little impact on buyer demand. “The recovery has been very concentrated in the best areas. The builders are deliberately metering out their sales pace and metering out their land because land is so precious. This isn’t a recovery in the outskirts and the periphery where you would see more volume growth as we move forward,” UBS analyst David Goldberg said in an interview.

Demand is in favor of builders just in home availability alone. While the market seems to stabilize, new home sales are still strong.

Filed Under: News

US Mortgage Rates Drop to Record Lows

Posted by: BIA Bay Area on May 20, 2013

CNN Money recently reported that US mortgage rates have dropped again, with the 15-year fixed-rate loan hitting a record low.

Last year the 15-year fixed-rate loan stood at 3.07% this month it dropped to 2.56% a record low while the popular 30-year fixed rate loan came in at 3.35% only .04% above its record low set November 2012.

The loan rates, coupled with the developer surge, has had a positive impact on the industry. Demand outweighs pace, and for the first time in years, developers are scrambling to build homes for well qualified consumers – a good “problem” to have in the building industry.

Low rates also help existing homeowners even if they don’t refinance their homes, CNN reports, “Affordable loans boost home buyer demand, sending home prices higher. They’ve recorded a 9% gain over the past 12 months…. the added home values mean some homeowners will no longer be underwater on their mortgages and can cash in the extra equity should they run into a rough patch, they can also sell their homes without resorting to a short sale.”

Read more…

Filed Under: Mortgage, News

New Home Sales Benefit the Community

Posted by: SMCbayarea on April 10, 2013

Holly Schroeder, CEO of the LA chapter of the BIA, wrote a compelling article about who benefits from home sales.

We know that the buyers and builders benefit from the sale of a home. The buyers have a new place to live and the builder has revenue. But what happens if you aren’t a builder? Maybe you’re a landscaper, a local business owner or dog walker? How does that sale help you? What if we told you that you can benefit from that sale as well?

New home construction opens up immediate possibilities for the community and can help sustain those communities for years to come. Schroeder writes:

“According to economists at the National Association of Home Builders, the one-year estimated local impacts of building 100 single-family homes in a typical metro area include $21.1 million in local income, $2.2 million in taxes and other local government revenue, and 324 local jobs.”

When someone moves into a new home in an existing or new community they will likely begin to use the resources around them. They’ll shop at local shops, their kids will attend local schools, they’ll hire local services to help maintain their home, they will be part of the whole that keeps that community going. In the long term, that money will be recycled back into the neighborhood. Schroeder writes:

“The new family also pays local and state taxes. These tax revenues help pay for a wide range of government services, including school teachers, police departments, refuse collection, parks maintenance and road repairs. In the Santa Clarita Valley, fees are paid to build a home that pay for new infrastructure – roads, schools, parks, plus police and fire facilities.”

Families who invest in a newly built home gain many benefits but they also help give back to the community in the long run. Schroeder concludes, “The advantages of new homes extend far beyond the buyers and the builders – residential construction has a positive, direct impact on the local community for years.”

Read the full article here.

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Excellence in Home Building Awards

Posted by: BIA Bay Area on March 7, 2013

Save the Date!

The annual Excellence in Home Building Awards by the BIA Bay Area is on May 10th this year! This ‘Back in the Black’ event will be held Friday evening at the Grand Hyatt off Union Square in San Francisco honoring excellence in our home building industry. Don’t miss this night of networking, dinner and celebration!

More information coming soon!

The Color of the Year: Emerald

Posted by: SMCbayarea on February 26, 2013

Last year’s color was Tangerine Tango a brilliant orange destined to brighten up any room! This year Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2013 is Emerald. Pantone Color Institute’s executive director Leatrice Eiseman tells us that Emerald is “The color of growth, renewal, and prosperity.” It’s truly a color that gives life and joy to any room in your home.

With spring fast approaching many individuals will engage in spring cleaning, and for some, that means a brand new look for a room in their home. Here are some practical uses for emerald in your home:

Use emerald green as an accent wall in your bathroom, living room or bedroom:

If a fully emerald wall is too much for you, why not place some art over the color to tone it down:

Buy emerald pillows or fabric to brighten up a dull living room:

Use emerald as a focal piece in your bedroom or living room with a dresser or cabinet:

Kelly green dresser.

Sometimes buying new furniture isn’t feasible, or maybe it’s just not as fun! Go on a thrifting or garage sale hunt for an emerald green couch!

Madeline Weinrib Steel Mandala Cotton Carpet, Designer Bailey McCarthy Photography by Paige Newton

How would you use emerald green in your home? For more emerald inspiration visit this Pinterest board.

Our emerald color of the year which signified “growth, renewal and prosperity” sets the tone for a prosperous year of new home sales!

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Real Estate Web Traffic – Who Drives the Ship?

Posted by: SMCbayarea on February 20, 2013

It was reported early this week that popular real estate websites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com drive nearly half the nonmobile real estate traffic on the web.

Experian, a service that tracks metrics, reported a total of over 482 million visits to real estate sites from a desktop computer in January which is a 12 month high for this specific topic. Numbers like that show that interest is high, which hopefully means demand is definitely higher than it had been in 2012.

Here’s a list of the 10 most-visited real estate websites for January 2013:

Rank Website Total visits Visits share
1 Zillow 44.19 million 9.17%
2 Trulia 33.70 million 7.00%
3 Realtor.com 29.32 million 6.09%
4 Yahoo Homes 26.48 million 5.50%
5 FrontDoor Real Estate 26.14 million 5.43%
6 Homes.com 17.98 million 3.73%
7 MSN Real Estate 7.17 million 1.49%
8 Rent.com 7.12 million 1.48%
9 AOL Real Estate 6.56 million 1.36%
10 Apartment Guide 5.89 million 1.22%

*Chart comes from Experian Marketing Services – does not include traffic from mobile devices

Do you regularly visit any of these sites? Or do you have others that you frequent?

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Home Prices are Going Up and so is Buyer Confidence

Posted by: BIA Bay Area on February 14, 2013

It’s no secret that times have been tough over the past few years for home buyers and builders alike. With fluctuations in markets and the economic downturn it was hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Fortunately as we venture into 2013 we’re seeing a turn for the better, something some feared would never come.

According to the National Association of Realtors quarterly report, “…The national [home] price showed the strongest year-over-year increase in seven years.” Inman points out that nationwide housing prices are not only going up but “for-sale inventory hit its lowest level in 12 years.” Is this finally the turn around?

The median sales price jumped 10% nationally Q4 1012 and is the highest jump the nation has seen since Q4 2005. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist stated, “Home sales are being fueled by a pent-up demand and job creation, along with still favorable affordability conditions and rents rising at faster rates. Our population has been growing faster than overall housing stock, so supply and demand dynamics are very much at play.” She also added that more housing construction is needed to relieve pressure in the market.

According to the report – San Francisco, Fremont, Oakland – saw a 28.3% change $462,300 Q4 2011 to $593,220 Q4 2012. Likewise a U.S. housing affordability index created by NAR saw a record high in 2012 to 193.5 from 186.4 in 2011.

As home prices increase, the economy’s affordability index also increases, so as home prices rise the conditions should stay favorable with individuals seeking out new homes. Buyers are more confident now then they have been in the last several years.  The increase in pricing and buyer moral can only mean great things for the home building industry, especially in the Bay Area, as new home sales is over performing and remaining steady through the first of the year. Let’s look forward to what 2013 has in store.

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Filed Under: News, Real Estate

Dinner and Networking with Larry Webb

Posted by: BIA Bay Area on February 4, 2013

Join us February 20th from 6pm-9pm for a dinner and networking event with Larry Web where he will speak on the evolving nature of home building.

Larry Webb, Partner and Chief Executive Officer

Larry Webb is a partner and Chief Executive Officer and has had 30 years of success distinguished by a conscientious approach toward clients, communities and employees. This includes his many charitable commitments and his dedication to helping cities, families and neighborhoods. As Partner and CEO, Larry founded The New Home Company on these principles and guides this new group in advancing the state of homebuilding. Between 1995 and 2008, he was Chief Executive Officer of John Laing Homes, when he was instrumental in growing it from a small, two-market company to the second-largest private homebuilder in the United States. Along the way, Laing became a model for customer service and employee satisfaction. In June 2006, he sold John Laing Homes in the largest private residential transaction in U.S. history. Prior to joining John Laing Homes, he was Division President for Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties for Kaufman & Broad, as well as Orange Country President of Greystone Homes. In 2008, Larry was appointed Chief Restructuring Officer for LandSource and successfully negotiated the financial restructuring of large land holdings across the U.S. Throughout his career, Larry has been honored and recognized by the industry for his philanthropy, marketing excellence and visionary leadership.

This event will be held on February 20th at the Pleasanton Marriott – BIA Members: $65/Non-Member: $85

For more information and to register please visit our website.

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Filed Under: Events

Products for the Future

Posted by: BIA Bay Area on February 1, 2013

The NAHB International Builder’s Show was held in Las Vegas this year and it was a smashing success. Builders from all over the country attended learning about new products, gaining great incite and even winning some awards. As a result we were introduced to some pretty interesting items that may give us a glimpse into home building’s future.

Some of this years product winners included:

The Wall Street Journal pointed out other notable, forward-thinking, products shown on the floor. With an emphasis on eco-friendly appliances, these items could very well revolutionize our home features and set the standards with products like multi-tasking appliances and portable fireplaces.

  • The Hot Fridge – while this fridge offers ice and cold water this GE appliance also boasts the ability to produce hot water as well.
  • Portable fireplaces – EcoSmart has designed an appliance that produces 8 to 10 inch flames and emits a surprisingly amount of heat. They are not legally considered fireplaces under building code so they are acceptable for use in most apartments as well.
  • Compact Generators – GE Generator systems now offers an 8kw generator that can be displayed as close as 18 inches from the home, which is notably the smallest generator in it’s class.
  • The USB Outlet – many devices are now powered by USB, Leviton has added two USB ports to its wall box allowing mobile users to eliminate lugging around the charging device and plugging their USB cable straight into the wall.
  • The All-in-one Grill - Fire Magic managed to cram a smoker, rotisserie oven and barbecue all into one high-tech and eye catching space. Eliminating the pilot light altogether, the main grill lights use a hot-surface ignition system instead (much like your hairdryer does).

These are just some of the innovative items featured at this year’s NAHB show. Were you in attendance? Did you see any other forward-thinking products you think deserve mention? Let us know in the comment section!

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Filed Under: News

Jeff Shore Seminar

Posted by: BIA Bay Area on June 18, 2012

Register for Jeff Shore Event on July 11, 2012. “That Was Soooo 2011 – Snap Everything Changed. Are You Changing As Quickly?” In classic Jeff Shore style, you”ll laugh, you’ll think, you’ll enjoy, but mostly, you’ll be prepared to reinvent yourself for the next five years. Register at events@biabayarea.org