Home Builders Set to Ride Upswing

Dec. 19, 2017

Confidence that the economic cycle for home building is still on the upswing remains steady as half of builders and architects expect to sell or design more houses next year compared with 13.9 percent of participants in Professional Builder’s 2018 Market Forecast survey projecting to complete fewer projects. More than two-thirds of survey respondents anticipate next year’s revenue to increase while only 6 percent expect to rate 2018 as mediocre. Entry-level homes ranked among the top strongest market opportunities for 2018, although building for first-time buyers trailed far behind custom and production move-up houses. Smaller houses were cited as a business growth opportunity, second only to move-up buyers, which has been the primary engine for the industry’s recovery. In a separate survey distributed at mid-year by Business Partnerships (BP)  to its members, only 7.4 percent said they were building smaller homes this year; 17.8 percent said they were constructing larger houses; and 67.5 percent indicated that their average square footage was the same as the previous year.

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More than 85 percent of Professional Builder survey respondents rated 2017 as either “good,” “very good,” or as an “excellent” business year. Those findings tracked with BP’s poll where more than 43 percent, almost all of them projecting to close more houses in 2017, said they had seen no difference between their estimated and actual pace, and 10.4 percent reported actual closings exceeded expectations by 5 percent or less. Almost 20 percent saw mid-year closings increase by more than 5 percent from their original estimates.