Volume 16, Issue 5 - June/July 2015

Industry Indices


Materials Prices Level Out in April

Prices for inputs to construction industries fell 0.1 percent in April, and prices have now fallen in six of the previous eight months, according to analysis by the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Input prices are also down on a year-over-year basis, falling 4 percent since April 2014.

Prices for inputs to nonresidential construction showed a similar decline, falling 0.1 percent for the month and 5.1 percent year-over-year.

Seven of the 11 key construction inputs did not expand for the month, including fabricated structural metal, which saw its product prices drop 0.5 percent. Those prices, however, have expanded 0.8 percent on a year-over-year basis.


Remodeling Rebound: How
Homeowners are Upgrading

Remodeling is on the rise, according to a recent webinar hosed by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS)
According to JCHS, discretionary projects (projects that improve homeowner lifestyles but are not demanding) are 50 percent of the remodeling market, up from 30 percent in 2013.


Builders Are Much More Confident

Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes in May is at a level of 54 on the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). That’s a nine-point increase from the May 2014 reading of 45, though two points less than April 2015.

The index’s components were mixed in May. The component charting sales expectations in the next six months rose one point to 64, the index measuring buyer traffic dropped a single point to 39, and the component gauging current sales conditions decreased two points to 59.

The NAHB/HMI gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index. Any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good rather than poor.


Study: Construction Industry Pros Like to Shop Online

A study from The Farnsworth Group reveals that most builders, architects, remodelers and specialty trade professionals buy many products related to their work online.

The study found that 76 percent of home improvement professionals purchased products online within the past 12 months. Additionally, 40 percent of those buy products online at least once a month.

The study also found that pros most often seek product information online, followed by prices, specific products, reviews and in-store availability. Manufacturers’ websites lead the way at 89 percent, and sites for home improvement stores were visited by 75 percent of pros.

NAHB/Wells Fargo National and Regional Housing Market Index (HMI)
  2014 2015
  May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May
Housing Market Index 45 49 53 59 55 54 58 58 57 55 52 56 54 59
Housing Market Index Components    
Single Family Sales: Present 48 53 56 58 63 57 62 62 62 61 58 61 58 65
Single Family Sales: Next 6 Months 56 58 63 65 67 64 66 64 60 59 59 63 63 69
Traffic of Prospective Buyers 33 36 39 42 47 41 45 46 44 39 37 40 39 44

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