Posts Tagged ‘constructiondive’

Doing “End Around” Other Factory-Builders, LivingHomes Sprouts Plant Prefab

September 8th, 2016 Comments off

stevegleenplantprefab-livinghomes-builderonline-posteddailybusinessnews-mhpronewsLivingHomes founder Steve Glenn established his prefab modular building operation in 2006, says BuilderOnline.  Initially using other producers of factory built homes to supply their needs, as housing has recovered, Glenn’s operation was increasingly being squeezed by those producers.

They’re taking more time to get back with bids and engineering, and in some cases they’ve turned us down for projects because they were too busy,” Glenn told Builder. “They [other factory-builders] are really set up to do standard, non-customized, lower cost, non-sustainable homes.”

If that sounds like it was spoken by someone into customized, green building, you’d be correct.

With manufactured and lower cost modular homes being the bread and butter of his previous suppliers, Glenn did an “end around,” by opening his own facility, said Construction Dive.

Known as Plant Prefab, Glenn’s fledgling production center has fewer than 20 employees at its 61,000-square foot factory in Rialto, California.

Glenn, CEO of Plant, expects that number to rise by year’s end, as project load rises.  They also expect to do projects for others seeking factory built product, not just their own clients.


Photo credit, Construction Dive.

With some 40 homes under contract, the company appears well poised with enough orders for a market where modular-infill home sales in urban areas makes sense.

The operation prides itself on LEED certified homes. LivingHomes has reported 18 homes certified as LEED Platinum and one LEED Gold. ##

(Image credits as shown)


L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is the publisher of and

Submitted by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach to the Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Inventory of Entry-level Homes may finally be Rising

August 18th, 2016 Comments off

home planning  theatlanticcities  credit postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHProNews has learned from constuctiondive that the median size of new U. S. single-family homes fell nearly three percent from Q1 2016 to Q2 2016, slipping from 2,465 sq ft to 2,392 sq ft. On a one-year moving average, however, median home size has actually risen 16 percent, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The quarter-to-quarter decline may indicate an increase in (smaller) starter home inventory. New multifamily rental apartment sizes did not experience the same fluctuation in size.

The NAHB gleaned from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction that the median size of a new single-family lot is 8,600 sq ft, which is a record low, although regional differences may account for the drop: In New England, the median size of a lot is one-half acre, while home builders in the Pacific region worked with less that 0.15 acres in 50 percent of lot inventory.

Additionally, a May NAHB report indicates that building lot availability is at an all-time low, which could either drive the price up, or prompt developers to build on smaller lots.

A June Wall Street Journal report reveals median single-family home size has increased in the U. S. eleven percent in the last ten years, and 61 percent larger since 1975. Since the housing crash and recession, mainly those not so affected by the downturn at the upper end were building homes, so builders focused their energies on more luxury homes.

A May Zillow Real Estate Market Report reveals starter home inventory has fallen nine percent year-over-year, pushing prices in that market up eight percent year-over-year, which is twice the rate of the overall market. Further, the shortage of entry level inventory has led to a decrease in the number of first-time home buyers. ##

(Image credit:theatlanticcities–home planning)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Construction Employment Lack may Impact Overall Economy

June 29th, 2016 Comments off

construction_worker_hiring__labor__Dept_and_WSJ__creditThe National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said earlier this month unfilled construction positions remain at a post-recession high of 200,000, and could possibly impact the larger economy, according to to the latest labor report from the Associated General Contractors of America, says constructiondive.

NAHB’s survey addressed nine trades, and the number of companies reporting a shortage has grown from 21 percent in 2012 to 56 percent today, including a gain of ten percent in 2014 and four percent last year.

Survey respondents said they were having the most trouble filling rough and finish carpentry positions, 72% and 70% respectively, as well as framers (68%) bricklayers (57%), painters (50%), electricians (48%), plumbers (47%), roofers (45%), excavators (44%) and HVAC technicians (42%).

The NAHB said current shortages are more significant than in the past, noting that even more scarce are subcontractors, who comprise about 75 percent of the labor on a single-family home, as MHProNews has learned. Some of the categories above (carpenters, bricklayers, et al) have experienced shortages of up to ten percent more than those shown, such as framing carpenters at a 78 percent lack, and plumbers at 56 percent.

Construction employment flourished in the first quarter of the year but has since slowed as the pool of existing talent ran out, resulting in the loss of 15,000 construction jobs in May.

New marketing efforts may be required to reverse the trend. ##

(Graphic credit: U. S. Dept of Labor and The Wall Street Journal)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Commercial Interest in Green Growing, but not for Home Buyers

June 2nd, 2016 Comments off

green dollar lightbulb  construtech creditA survey of 150 homebuyers by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) revealed they have remained consistent in their preferences for green features in their homes and their communities from 2007 to 2015.

Similar to results from previous years, of those surveyed 90 percent said ENERGY STAR were important, while 87 percent saying the same about the windows. Also considered highly desirable was whole home ENERGY STAR rating with insulation above code requirements, reports constructiondive.

Half of the homebuyers were willing to invest in energy efficiency in order to save $1,000.00 in utility expenses, needing a 20 percent rate of return to do so, MHProNews understands.

By contrast, since 2012 energy efficiency and environmental concerns had fallen in importance of for remodeling considerations, as 69% of builders and 78% of remodelers believed customers would pay more for green building features

More than half of the builders who responded anticipate doing over 60 percent of green projects by 2020, while for remodelers the rate was only one-third who predicted doing over 60 percent by 2020.

While residential customers may not be so Gung Ho for Green, commercial building owners are responding to workers who want a company that promotes sustainability and wellness. They realize the importance of attracting the best pool of talent possible, and the long term savings in energy costs. ##

(Image credit:construtech)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Home Prices Continue to Rise Faster than Wages

May 3rd, 2016 Comments off

house price increases housingwire creditU. S. house prices rose 2.1 percent between Feb. and March, including distressed sales, and 6.7 percent between March 2015 and March 2016, according to constructiondive. Wages for would-be first time homebuyers likely did not rise that much on the year, MHProNews knows, putting a home out of reach.

Reporting in its Home Price Index, CoreLogic also predicted home prices will increase 0.7 percent between March and April, and 5.3 percent between March 2016 and March 2017. That is a 12 percent jump from 2015 to 2017.

President and CEO of CoreLogic, Anand Nallathambi, said home prices have appreciated nearly 40 percent since bottoming out five years ago, with the West seeing the most appreciation.

Housing helped keep U.S. economic growth afloat in the first quarter of 2016 as residential investment recorded its strongest gain since the end of 2012,” CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said in a release. “Low interest rates and increased home building suggest that housing will continue to be a growth driver.”

Trulia reports starter-home inventory dropped 44 percent in the last five years, and that sector’s prices have increased 5.6 percent.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports continuing price growth is hindering home construction, although some builders complain the regulatory burden is itself a barrier. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) testified recently before Congress that regulatory expenses can increase the cost of a house by 25 percent. ##

(Image credit: housingwire–house price increases)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Longer Permit Processing Times Adding to Costs

March 9th, 2016 Comments off

home planning     theatlanticcities  creditAccording to constructiondive, developers are saying that building permit processing time has increased from four months in 2011 to seven months in 2015, reports the National Association of Home Builders and The Wall Street Journal (wsj).

In more active markets, like California and Florida, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) says the wait can be as long as six to eight months, up from two to three months. Permitting offices laid off many staff personnel during the recession and have been overwhelmed by the number of new permit applications, reports wsj.

Last summer the Denver building department was so overwhelmed projects took three times longer than usual to review. One problem resulting from the permit logjam is builders are having to incur more staff and other expenses during the wait time, which drives up the final price of each project. Denver builder Jared Phifer told wsj the problem is so severe it is almost leading to bankruptcy.

Since last summer Denver has beefed up its permitting program with new software and the addition of staff to handle the uptick in permit applications. ##

(Image credit: theatlanticcities)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Construction Workers in Short Supply in U. S.

December 15th, 2015 Comments off

Construction_Workers  FlickreviewR  creditEconomists at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) have determined from the 2013 American Community Survey that the average age of U. S. construction workers is 42, one year older than the overall work force average, according to what constructiondive tells MHProNews.

States with the highest median age of 45 are Connecticut, Maine and New Hampshire, while those with the youngest median age are Utah (36) and North Dakota (38), the latter likely due to the rigors of working in the oilfields.

The younger median ages tend to be laborers and helpers, while the older ages are in more supervisory and equipment operator positions.

Although statistics indicate 31,000 jobs were added in October and 46,000 in November, so many construction workers left during the recession for lack of work and moved to other fields that the industry will have to attract new workers. The Associated General Contractors of America has warned of this problem for sometime, and advocates for more technical school education. ##

(Photo credit: FlickreviewR–construction workers)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Price of New Single-Family Site built Home Rises over $120k to $468k

November 6th, 2015 Comments off

house under const  housingwireMHProNews has learned from constructiondive that the latest National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) Cost of Construction survey reveals the average construction cost of a single-family home, 2,802 square feet, has risen to $289,415, increasing from $95 per square foot in 2013 to $103 per sf today.

Builders reported cost increases of five percent or less for labor, materials and subcontractors, but up to a 24 percent rise for framing and truss materials. They also reported difficulty locating framing crews. Some foundation work, concrete, block/brick and backfill costs hae risen 13-18 percent.

The average price of a single-family home hit $468,318 this year, up from $345,800 in 2014, but builder profit was down .3 percent from 2013. The rise has more to do with costs than profit. ##

(Photo credit: housingwire)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.