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Home Building Momentum Carries Into 2017

Almost half of builders expect to sell more houses this year

December 14, 2016

More than half of survey respondents feel good about next year’s prospects, even as they expect to face increases in the cost of building materials and bid prices from their trades.

Almost half of builders responding to Professional Builder’s 2017 Market Forecast Survey expect to sell more houses this year, and more than two-thirds graded 2016 as a “good,” “very good,” or “excellent” business year for their companies.

Although custom homes and houses for move-up buyers were identified as the strongest market segment by more than three-quarters of builders, 24.4 percent expected that first-time buyers would be their best market in 2017. That sentiment perhaps reflects a resurgence of interest in building entry-level homes, considering that just 3.5 percent of respondents identified first-time buyers as the 2016 primary consumer target for their businesses. Starter homes were identified as a strong market niche by just 13.2 percent of respondents in last year’s survey and by 7.6 percent in the 2014 poll.

CONSTRUCTION SECTOR REPORTS

Construction overview

Fleet managers

Transportation

Water infrastructure

Nonresidential

Annual revenue increased from 2014 for 54.8 percent of survey participants, and almost two-thirds anticipate 2017 sales to go higher. Optimism for the industry is carrying over, as some 78 percent project that next year will be “good” or “very good” for their operations, and 13 percent expect next year will be “excellent.”

For more survey results about 2017 expectations, see the charts that follow.

--MIke Beirne is senior editor for Professional Builder

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