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Assessing Trends in the Building Industry

There is no doubt about it, 2013 is a year for new beginnings in the building industry. Across the board, from the creation of new construction jobs, to the increased amount of land parcels being sold, the home building market is on its way back. Here are some of the latest indicators of growth and action in the new construction market to be aware of.

Availability of MaterialsMaterials for Construction

In a recent Housing Market Index put together by the NAHB and Wells Fargo, a survey was conducted that outlined the biggest concerns builders had for 2013. Now more than ever, builders are concerned about the cost and availability of materials. While this may initially seem like a bad indication of the state of the building market for homeowners, this is actually a result of recovery—the demand for materials continues to rise as residential construction picks up.

Land Development and Sales

As a part of the same Housing Market Index, nearly half of builders are also expecting less availability for developed lots, up from the 24% of builders in 2012. In many markets, there have been an abundance of building lots which have sat dormant since the downturn in the building industry.  If these lots are now being used up, it is a clear indication of progress.

Number of New Homes Started

In CNN’s recent study, statistics show that in March, the annual pace of housing starts in 2013 had topped 1 million for the first time in nearly five years. After years of diminished activity for residential home building, the combination of decreased unemployment rates and economic growth has resulted in a comeback for new home starts. There is still some speculation that this number could also be greater if not for the shortage of construction workers available to families looking to build.

Builder WorkloadsBuilder Workloads

According to the NAHB, open construction jobs are at the highest they have been since their pre-Great Recession highs in 2007. In fact, over 94,000 jobs have been added to the home building sector in the last 12 months alone. However, this is still a small uptick compared to the current growth in building activity. This is speculated to be due to existing workers increasing their hours of work to meet the current demand in the industry. If this is true, it cannot go on indefinitely. The NAHB is confident that within the upcoming months, job creation will increase further to become more in stride with the demand for new construction.

 

For more information on the current state of the building industry, visit www.nahb.org.