Building Market Intelligence

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Underwriting Risk

There are many new executives to the industry today who are trying to determine how to underwrite the risk of owning land. These executives range from lenders, who presumed they would never consider owning an asset, to opportunity funds who …

Grading Housing Market Fundamentals

After many months of testing, we are proud to introduce our Market Fundamentals grade, which has proven to be a 3-5 year leading indicator for home price appreciation and depreciation. Improving fundamentals usually result in increasing appreciation, and vice versa. …

Consumer Confidence Declines As Employment Growth Declines

The weakening job market is a key factor in rapidly deteriorating consumer confidence, which is now at its lowest level since March 2003, surrounding the beginning of the war in Iraq. The current consumer confidence index rating of 64.5 is …

An Educational Video on Housing Cycles

Co-Authored by Chris Porter, Chief Demographer This month, we are pleased to present a 7-minute video that we hope will be a very effective use of your time to understand where we are in the housing cycle. To see the video, …

The Poster Child for Housing Excess: The City of Maricopa, AZ

Nothing exemplifies the boom and bust of this cycle like the City of Maricopa, Arizona. A distant Phoenix suburb, the city’s growth has been phenomenal: 1,040 people in March 2000 4,998 people in March 2004 24,625 people in July 2006 …

Economic Fundamentals Slipping Away

While it is now clear that we are in regional recessions, the poor performance of many of our market indicators over the last several months supports speculation of a national recession. Our overall grade for the health of the U.S. …

Position Your Product Offerings for Success

In a down housing cycle, it is generally wise to adjust your product offerings to appeal to a larger segment of buyer demand. Builders can lower costs per square foot – and the overall home price – by changing out …

Start A New Company

While 2008 promises to be one of the most difficult years in home building, it will also present many opportunities, particularly for those individuals who do not have recourse loans. Here are 3 suggestions: Start a New Company: Buy land …

Further Evidence That We Are in a Recession

As if a horrible housing market isn’t enough of a drag on the economy, businesses are now curtailing their spending as well. In December, a survey of manufacturers indicated that their budgets are being cut, and this week we learned …

Community and Home Design Must Appeal to Your Target Buyer Profile

Given today’s competitive market conditions, planning and designing for the right buyer profile is more critical than ever. It is important to show model merchandising with hints of the target buyer profile throughout the home through lifestyle photography, room designs …