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Home Building Focus Shifts to Growth As Economy Levels Off

Concern about the economy took a back seat as builders cited higher costs for labor and material and finding qualified employees and contractors as their top challenges going into the new year.

December 15, 2014

High-performance homes once again was identified as the top growth opportunity by home builders.

Asked to rate 2014 as a business year for their companies, slightly more than a third of builders responding to Professional Builder’s 2015 Market Forecast survey indicated it was mediocre to poor, an improvement from 44.2 percent who graded 2013 as a down period for their operations. More than 42 percent said their company sold more houses this year versus last year compared with 35.6 percent who sold “about the same” and 22.2 percent who closed on fewer houses than they did in 2013.

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Annual revenue compared with the previous year rose for 53.7 percent of respondents, and 61.1 percent project their company’s receipts will increase in 2015. Optimism abounds in the industry with 71.5 percent of survey participants anticipating next year to be “good” or “very good” for their companies.

Concern about the economy took a back seat as builders cited higher costs for labor and material and finding qualified employees and contractors as their top challenges going into the new year. Regarding top opportunities, more than one-third of builders surveyed expect to grow by building energy-efficient/high-performance homes and by targeting upscale move-up homebuyers. Less than 14 percent of builders mentioned first-time buyers as their top 2015 opportunity.

For more survey results about 2015 expectations, see the charts that follow.

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