Providing National Research & Consulting Services for Our Clients

Housing Dimensions Blog

Lisa Marquis Jackson's picture

The Truth about Mortgage Underwriting

by Lisa Marquis Jackson

The world is awash in inaccurate sound bites related to mortgage credit. We spoke with numerous industry executives and identified three truths that need to be clarified:

Land Is the Riskiest of Asset Classes

by Sean Fergus

Land buying can make or break a home builder or developer. Land can be so illiquid that the CEO of Toll has a plaque in his office reminding him that:

"You can buy more land in an afternoon than you can get rid of in a lifetime."

Investing in land carries significantly more volatility than nearly all other real estate asset classes. As a general rule, a 1% change in home values results in a 3% change in finished lot values because almost all of the change is attributable to a change in the value of the land rather than the structure. Investing in raw land carries an even greater level of volatility and price swings.

John Burns's picture

Bad Data = Bad Information

by John Burns

We are getting a little sick of the bad data that has resulted in some very misleading headlines this month, so I am going to share some proprietary information from our June survey of 228 local building execs overseeing 12% of all US new home sales. We distributed this to our clients on Monday, July 6.

Here is the truth: