Homebuilders Face Pricier Materials [Housing Tracker]

by: Judy Weil

Quote of the Day 

"It's not like you're dealing with a car salesman who has a lot full of SUVs no one wants. Developers have an advantage. What they're selling will go up in value eventually. Homes are appreciating assets and you need to treat them as such." - Todd Rich of New Home Trends, a Bothell, Wash., provider of real estate information that examines property sales in the Northwest. (The Street, Aug. 22)

"You can see that China put a ton of infrastructure into the Olympics. Forty thousand tons of concrete...that will make concrete go up." - Pulte Homes VP Reed Williams used the Olympics to explain why home prices will eventually go up, because materials are more costly. (Bay News 9, Aug. 24)

Homebuilder Trends

Green Is Growing Industry In Building. “More and more homebuilders, suppliers and contractors are building green in Southwestern Illinois. The member-driven Home Builders Association of Greater Southwest Illinois held its sixth program on green building since February 2007 to talk about how and why to build green.” (The Telegraph, Aug. 24)

Builders: 'We Have A Lot Of Positive Hope' “Bay area builders… say they've seen some consistency in their sales and their prices over the past four months, [and] that many statistics released to the public can be misleading. For instance, even though home prices may drop… statistics usually don't take into account the fact that square footage may be dropping too. The builders predict that, in the long term, prices will rise because the cost of goods is going up… Mike Shrenk of New Millenial Homes said he's used the slow-down to find ways to speed up the length of time it takes to build a home: “We were building in 85-87-day range. We're now down to the 67-day range.” (Bay News 9, Aug. 24)

In The Ruins of the Housing Bust. Merced, California: “Central Valley developer Pacific Pride [gave up] plans to build a 124-house neighborhood… Moraga, built by Lakemont Homes, was designed to include 500 luxury homes... Only about 24 were built. One was just listed as a foreclosure for $219,000, a deep discount to the already discounted price of $310,000 for that model. The Lakemont agent says that there have been no sales for a long time. At Gardenstone, part of the Bellevue Ranch development, the doors of the sales office are covered with plywood… A few blocks away is Riverstone, [where] a dozen houses were started here and then the construction workers went away.” (NY Times, Aug. 23) 

Arizona Builders Could Face More Defect Litigation. “Homebuilders and contractors in Arizona are girding themselves for an imminent ruling by the state's Supreme Court that will determine whether a measure, Proposition 201, which requires builders to provide 10-year warranties on the homes they build, can be put before voters in November… Homebuilder groups tried to block this measure… Connie Wilhelm, executive director for HBA of Central Arizona: The measure would eliminate the ability of owners and builders to meditate or arbitrate defect issues without resorting to legal action. "It also takes away the rights of a homebuilder or a seller to recover damages if a lawsuit is found to be frivolous.” (Builder Online, Aug. 21)


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