QUOTE OF THE WEEK… “Things are not always as they seem; the first appearance deceives many.” –Phaedrus, Roman poet and fabulist
INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE… The ancient Roman writer of fables certainly hit the nail on the head with regard to last week’s housing reports. Housing Starts dipped 14.4% in August to a 956,000 annual rate, while Building Permits dropped 5.6% to a 998,000 annual rate. With both numbers coming in under a million units a year, pundits were quick to declare that the home building recovery is over. But they were truly deceived. Even with the August decline, starts are up 8.0% over a year ago. The multi-family sector is a bit stronger, but single-family starts are still up 4.2% in the past year.
Starts are volatile from month to month, so to see the trend, we need to look at the 12-month moving average, now at its highest level since October 2008. Equally encouraging, the number of homes under construction but not finished was up 0.6% in August and up 21.6% from a year ago. The pundits also overlooked two more facts. 1) Residential construction jobs are up 123,000 in the last year, which wouldn’t make sense if the recovery were going in the other direction. 2) The National Association of Home builders said that builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes rose in September for the fourth month in a row, to a nine-year high!
BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK…Online activities are important, but face time is still key. Take every opportunity to get yourself in front of prospects. Then they’ll pay more attention when they see your blogs, emails, and social posts.
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