Metrostudy Appoints Scott Davis Regional Director, Houston Market

Posted in National Housing Market | Posted on 07-29-2014 | Written by Metrostudy News

Washington, D.C. – July 29, 2014 Metrostudy, a Hanley Wood company, announced today the appointment of Scott Davis as regional director for Metrostudy’s Houston market. Davis joins Metrostudy with over 15 years of residential and commercial real estate industry experience in the Houston area. He has held senior level positions in acquisitions and dispositions across a variety of real estate disciplines including land, retail, residential, office, industrial and multifamily use.
“Scott is a veteran of the Houston real estate market, and has a deep level of insight and understanding that will serve our clients well,” noted Chris Veator, President of Metrostudy. “We are very excited to have him leading our presence in one of the largest markets in the nation.”

Davis most recently served as Senior Director of Land Services for CASE Commercial Real Estate Partners and as principal with Tisona Development, a developer of medical office buildings. Prior to these positions he was Executive Vice President at NAI Houston where he managed strategy and operations for the largest independently owned commercial real estate brokerage company in Houston. He is the author of two books dealing with generational conflict and is widely sought after as an expert on the impact of changing generations in the workforce. His experience and relationships in the real estate and investment industries will greatly enhance the Metrostudy tradition of providing the most expert advice and insight to the key real estate markets nationwide.

“Metrostudy has and will continue to play a unique and vital role in Houston’s real estate development community. We have a great team here, and I am honored to have the opportunity to lead our Houston office in helping our clients be successful in the country’s strongest real estate market,” said Davis. Scott will be responsible for research, client relations, and consulting with industry related clients related to the housing market, as well as advising clients on strategic plans in the current economic environment. Metrostudy specializes in primary and secondary market information to the housing and related industries nationwide.

For information Contact
(813) 443-6504

About Metrostudy
Metrostudy is the leading provider of primary and secondary market information to the housing and related industries nationwide. Metrostudy provides research, data, analytics and consulting services to help builders, developers, lenders, suppliers, retailers, utilities and others make investment and business decisions every day. For more information, visit

About Hanley Wood
Hanley Wood, LLC is the premier information, media, event, and strategic marketing services company serving the residential, commercial design and construction industries. Utilizing the largest editorial- and analytics-driven construction market database, the company produces powerful market data and insights; award-winning publications, newsletters and websites; marquee trade shows and executive events; and strategic marketing solutions. To learn more, visit

Metrostudy’s Brad Hunter Sees ‘Nice’ Increase in Housing

Posted in National Housing Market | Posted on 07-29-2014 | Written by Metrostudy News

brad hBrad Hunter, chief economist of housing-research firm Metrostudy in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, says data collected by his company “flies in the face” of government statistics that showed weak housing starts in the second quarter. Hunter talks with Bloomberg’s Tom Keene and Michael McKee on Bloomberg Radio’s “Bloomberg Surveillance.”

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Inland Empire positioned for explosive growth

Posted in Inland Empire Market, San Diego Market, Southern California Market | Posted on 07-25-2014 | Written by Steve Johnson

steve j Local and regional prognosticators are proclaiming the Inland Empire region (Riverside and San Bernardino counties) as positioned well to shortly regain it’s historical position as the leader of California’s new home production.  While often referred to as a bedroom community located east of Los Angeles and Orange counties, the Inland Empire is home to 4.2 million residents and the peak of the last cycle the region delivered a staggering 30,000 new homes per year. Land developers could not produce enough lot inventory fast enough.  It was a daily struggle to maintain a minimum supply to feed the housing demand. Read the rest of this entry »

New Home Sales Drops in June

Posted in National Housing Market | Posted on 07-24-2014 | Written by Brad Hunter

New home sales data from the Census Bureau showed a drop of 8.1% on a seasonally-adjusted basis.  The decline since the beginning of the year comes to 11%.

The northeastern U.S. markets slowed sharply.

In June, and so far in July, we are back to a situation where home shoppers are shopping but a relatively small proportion of them are actually buying.  This is explained in some cases by a long lead time (people taking longer to make a decision), and in other cases by a complete reluctance to buy.

Here is a look at the last year in New Home Sales by region showing sales have decreased slightly over the past few months.


In Southern California in particular, conversion rates are slipping, and traffic is still high.

According to our weekly data in Southern California, traffic is still running high relative to last year’s levels, but conversion rates are sub-par, and still slipping.

A related story is last week’s surprisingly weak read on housing starts.  The real explanation seems to have been lost in the shuffle: icy weather conditions in the Deep South last winter slowed the pace of development (paving, infrastructure), exacerbating the shortage of lots in places like Raleigh-Durham.

Despite low conversion rates nationwide, hot markets are keeping sales up in some states. The strong Texas markets and active adult magnets in Florida have pushed the two to the top of the list for new home sales in 2014. Here is a look at the year-to-date top 10 states.

new home salestop ten sts

Top 10 States for New Home Sales in 2014

  1. Texas: 33,177 closings
  2. Florida: 19,416 closings
  3. California: 14,280 closings
  4. North Carolina: 10,249 closings
  5. Georgia: 7,280 closings
  6. Colorado: 5,602 closings
  7. Washington: 5,337 closings
  8. Arizona: 5,309 closings
  9. Virginia: 4,836 closings
  10. South Carolina: 4,345 closings

A Tour of New Home Markets – by School District

Posted in National Housing Market, Philadelphia - Market | Posted on 07-24-2014 | Written by Quita Syhapanya

quitaMy first post titled “Tour of New Home Markets” we touched on the adventure my wife wanted us to go on driving new home subdivisions by school district. We also touched on the advancement in technology in the new home building industry and how a gut feeling can be validated or invalidated based the data at hand.

My wife’s goal was to find out why people are moving into specific school district areas. She considered high demand for homes (i.e. closings) to be a good indicator or preference for certain schools.  Her rationale is that builders wouldn’t be building these new homes in these areas if the schools were not good and if jobs are not there.

She has this infatuation about putting our daughter through a specific school district that she went to and graduated. From this spectrum she put together a list of the Top School Districts in the Philadelphia suburban counties (Chester, Delaware, Bucks, and Montgomery) from a new home building activity level as it relates to closings (move-in’s for the prior 3 quarters). Armed with Builder Insight on her iPad, my wife informed me that the school districts we should review on our tour from first to last. These school districts were not close to each other at all so we were on the road for a little while.

Below is the list of the Top 5 School Districts Based on Annual Closings.  

  1. Central Bucks West (Bucks County)

*Annual Closings: 258

  1. Downingtown Area School District (Chester County)

*Annual Closings: 210

  1. North Penn School District (Montgomery County)

*Annual Closings: 149

  1. Spring-Ford Area School District (Montgomery County)

*Annual Closings: 136

  1. Avon Grove School District (Chester County)

*Annual Closings: 121

*Three quarters of closings (observed move in’s) starting 3Q13 through 1Q14 from Metrostudy’s proprietary survey data.

After going through all the new home subdivisions in each school district I asked her which one she liked best. Her answer actually surprised me. She said she really liked the Western Montgomery Submarket; in particular the Spring-Ford Area School District. Her response was that she loved having easy access to Route 422 and it is not too far from the turnpike, Route 202, and Interstate 76. I was a little taken back since I was expecting another answer. I asked “you like it here because of access to Route 422 over the school district?” She said “No I love the school district, but it is a really awesome bonus to have Route 422 (which can be heavily congested if driven during rush hour) so I have a nice straight route for shopping!” You have Philadelphia Premium Outlets North West where she goes shopping for my daughter. Then a few miles South East you have the King of Prussia Mall where she goes shopping for herself. Right in the center of all that is where she wants to live. The big draw here is the Providence Town Center with all of its retail shops, dining, gym, and her favorite the Movie Tavern where you can have dinner and a movie at the same time. So the school district really was the most important piece to her decision. Having accessibility to all the amenities just helped make the decision a pretty easy one for her.

Once she identified the area she wanted to possibly move to in the future she quickly drew a polygon of her area of interest. She drew a polygon within Insight around the Route 422 Corridor and was able to find all the active subdivisions as well as potential land prospects as if we were builders. In her case looking for a future home to put my daughter into a school district that she desired. Also, all the shopping that she can afford or I can afford.

The school districts in the Top 5 above are good school districts and the amount of new home construction occurring in these areas are occurring for a reason. When looking at the school district before we looked at housing activity we both had our own reasoning as to which school district we liked best. It was all based on a “gut” feeling and reputation that school district had that influenced our feelings. Then we ran the data and toured the area. Our own targeted Top 5 school districts changed based on the data we pulled from Builder Insight. Then touring the areas and actually going to visiting some of the schools in the area allowed us to reconsider our rankings. So we went on “gut” first and went to the site to validate our feelings of the area. While our feelings weren’t outrageous, the effort made us reassess our pre-conceived rankings. We discovered a preference that didn’t exist previously. Now my wife is online looking at the school curriculum that each offered which is a whole other story.

In figure 3 below you can see the map layout of my wife’s drawn polygon with the accompanying subdivision name according to annual starts on the right hand pane. The green dots all represent land opportunities in the Route 422 Corridor.

Figure 3: Polygon of Route 422 Corridor in Montgomery County, PA


Builder Insight provides an intuitive map interface that knows exactly where you are with GPS (or FBI) like precision. It will provide instant access to potential land opportunities, evaluate activity levels, lot counts information, access builder/developer information, subdivision data, and much more.  Learn how you can use Builder Insight to get to know “new locations” in your market and get a sample of just one of our local market reports designed to get you the answers you need to make informed decisions.

The most important thing about the platform is how easy it is to use. I would never say that my wife is technologically challenged, but she is at times. Not saying that I am Mr. Technology or anything, but the ease of use that Builder Insight affords lowers the bar significantly in accessing answers to your questions.


A Tour of New Home Markets

Posted in National Housing Market, Philadelphia - Market | Posted on 07-22-2014 | Written by Quita Syhapanya


Technology has come a long way since the first computer.  Where once it was limited, today we all use fairly advanced forms of technology as part of our daily lives. I remember playing Nintendo for the first time as a kid and thinking how amazing it was. I had to press the directional buttons to move Super Mario and the A/B buttons to jump or throw the fireballs that bounced a few time to defeat the enemy. Now you have 3-D games with multiple buttons that have many functions that seems like you need seven fingers and 2 thumbs on each hand to use. Technology today is geared to be visually appealing, keep you connected to the world, and make life easier while entertaining you. Another example is our cell phones that virtually everyone has. There was the old school Zach Morris phone that could double as your VCR to the old Erickson phone where you played “snake” to kill time. Read the rest of this entry »

The Top 5 Home Lenders In Philly Burbs

Posted in National Housing Market, Philadelphia - Market | Posted on 07-21-2014 | Written by Quita Syhapanya

quitaOnce upon a time I worked for a mortgage company and always wondered who closed the most new home mortgages nationally as well as within the markets that the company I worked for at the time primarily lent. I worked for a smaller mortgage company that provided mortgages for purchase or refinance across the country. We were not the largest of lenders nor did we have all the data in hand to find the right opportunities in the new home purchase market. We sold mortgages to whomever we could and whenever we could. Every state had its own specific closing requirements with most of our business in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and California. We wanted to get into every state that we could, but never had the data to understand the lending market in the states we wanted to enter. There are many challenges and barriers in the mortgage industry where relevant data is hard to come by to make decisions. Read the rest of this entry »

The Importance of Measuring Finished Vacant Home Inventory

Posted in National Housing Market | Posted on 07-18-2014 | Written by Eric Allen

eric aIn a volatile housing market, uncertainty tends to creep into the decisions made within the homebuilding industry. Questions such as, “Is now the right time to deliver lots into the market?” … Or, “With the current level of home inventory in our competitive trade area, how will this impact my pricing power?” Managing unknowns and uncertainty is an important aspect of most significant decisions.  However, indecisiveness in the midst of dramatic market swings can have damaging consequence leading to the ignoring of apparent and broad market trends.

Understanding and monitoring equilibrium levels for the new home industry is one way to incorporate broad market trends into your daily decision-making process. Searching for equilibrium is an effort in identifying the balance point of a market, Read the rest of this entry »

Housing Starts Down in June, But Forecast Positive

Posted in National Housing Market | Posted on 07-17-2014 | Written by Brad Hunter

brad h

Housing starts for June SURPRISED on the downside!  Jobs are better, and builders seem more confident, yet the June number was down 9.3% month-over-month (9.0% for single-family detached).

My forecast for 2014, just revised to account for the latest data, is for a 9% increase in total home starts (annual total for 2014 versus annual total for 2013), and for a 6% increase in single-family construction.

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Lot deliveries in Dallas-Fort Worth surge to the highest level in since 2008

Posted in Dallas - Ft. Worth Market, National Housing Market | Posted on 07-16-2014 | Written by Metrostudy News

July, 2014: Metrostudy reports new lot deliveries exceeded the new home starts pace during the second quarter of 2014 for the first time since early 2008.  “Lot development activity has lagged home starts in Dallas-Fort Worth since inventory hit a peak of over 90,000 lots in March 2008. Lot inventory in the region fell to 46,000 lots earlier this year, and less than 40,000 lots if you exclude the stranded lots in less desirable locations,” said David Brown, Regional Director of Metrostudy’s Dallas-Fort Worth office. Developers delivered 6,300 lots during the second quarter, up 20% from the first quarter and up 68% from the second quarter of 2013.  However, lot supply in the high demand submarkets continue to remain constrained.  “The most active submarkets in Dallas-Fort Worth that account for 75% of the new home demand only have a 14.6 month supply, well below the 20 to 24-months considered to be equilibrium,” said Brown.

The tight lot supply and strong demand has driven up lot costs in the most active submarkets forcing builders to sell homes at much higher prices.  The median price of a new home in Dallas-Fort Worth has risen from $216,700 in 2011 to $269,400 in 2014, a 24% increase.  Only 25% of the new home closings in the second quarter were for homes priced under $200,000, down from over 40% in 2011.  The following table shows the change in the median price of a new home for the top ten submarkets in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Dallas-Fort Worth Top Ten New Homes Submarkets
Rank Submarket 2011 Median Price 2014 Median Price Change in Median Price % Change
1 N Fort Worth $173,000 $212,500 $39,500 23%
2 Frisco $306,200 $438,000 $131,800 43%
3 McKinney $223,000 $303,000 $80,000 36%
4 Denton County $199,200 $209,200 $10,000 5%
5 NWNC Dallas $491,300 $913,200 $421,900 86%
6 Denton $188,300 $224,000 $35,700 19%
7 Prosper $338,500 $392,500 $54,000 16%
8 Allen $385,800 $451,600 $65,800 17%
9 Irving $313,400 $428,300 $114,900 37%
10 SW Fort Worth $143,600 $191,700 $48,100 33%


The NWNC Dallas submarket (South of LBJ and West of Central Expressway) has seen the largest increase in median price due to a large drop in sales of townhouses priced under $500,000 and a surge in sales of single family homes priced over $1,000,000.  The suburbs north of Dallas, including Frisco, McKinney, Plano, Allen and Prosper, experienced a significant jump in median price since 2011.  The higher prices are forcing many buyers to the nearby submarkets of Melissa, Anna, Celina, Little Elm, Oak Point and unincorporated areas of Denton and Collin Counties.

The increased prices are also beginning to affect the growth in starts in Dallas-Fort Worth as some buyers in certain submarkets are beginning to get priced out of the new home market.  Starts during the second quarter in DFW were only up 2% compared to a year earlier.  Some submarkets including Frisco and McKinney (which led the recovery in 2012 and 2013) have seen starts dip slightly this year due to tight lot supply and much higher lot and new home prices.

“We are expecting a 10% to 15% increase in starts during 2014 with the largest share of the increase coming from the first quarter,” said Brown. Metrostudy expects the growth pace to remain slower through the remainder of the year because of low lot inventory and higher prices in prime submarkets.

Relief from the lack of supply is not on the horizon.  Options for homebuyers continue to remain limited during the summer.  Finished new home inventory is 12% below the prior year and represents only a 1.6-month supply, below the 2-months considered to be equilibrium. Additionally, the existing home market has only a 3-month supply of homes on the market, with many high demand submarkets at a 2-month supply or less.  New and existing home inventory is expected to remain low through the remainder of 2014, putting continued pressure on prices.

The Metroplex continues to have strong housing demand due to the highest job growth in the nation, up 113,100 jobs in the last twelve months. 2014 is expected to be another strong year for homebuilding, but the growth rate is moderating because of lot constraints, increased prices and higher interest rates.  “Metrostudy will be watching the inventory level closely for the remainder of 2014 for any signs of easing. Until the supply begins to rise or the job growth slows significantly the market should remain very strong,” said Brown.

DFW Historical Housing Activity and Inventory

D/FW Annual Quarterly Annual Quarterly Finished Months of Lot Months of
Starts Starts Closings Closings Inventory Supply Inventory Supply
1Q11 14,656 3,101 16,640 3,213 3,690 2.7 65,873 53.9
2Q11 13,716 3,653 15,419 3,543 3,310 2.6 62,936 55.1
3Q11 13,961 3,890 14,614 3,872 3,078 2.5 61,033 52.5
4Q11 14,260 3,614 14,625 3,996 3,242 2.7 59,641 50.2
1Q12 14,346 3,189 14,753 3,342 3,185 2.6 58,062 48.6
2Q12 15,188 4,495 15,318 4,108 2,689 2.1 56,152 44.4
3Q12 16,445 5,147 15,820 4,374 2,515 1.9 53,617 39.1
4Q12 17,802 4,971 16,243 4,419 2,862 2.1 51,704 34.9
1Q13 18,980 4,367 17,063 4,162 3,164 2.2 51,216 32.4
2Q13 20,468 5,983 18,113 5,158 2,547 1.7 49,012 28.7
3Q13 21,177 5,856 19,100 5,361 2,526 1.6 47,022 26.6
4Q13 21,230 5,024 20,050 5,369 2,643 1.6 46,243 26.1
1Q14 22,355 5,492 20,594 4,706 2,855 1.7 46,045 24.7
2Q14* 22,501 6,129 20,956 5,520 2,856 1.6 46,246 24.7
Source & Copyright © 2014 Metrostudy
* Preliminary Estimates


For information contact: David Brown @ 214.891.5602 or 214.207.7535

About Metrostudy

Metrostudy, a Hanley Wood company, is the leading provider of primary and secondary market information to the housing and related industries nationwide.  Established in 1975 in Houston, Metrostudy provides research, data, analytics and consulting services that help builders, developers, lenders, suppliers, retailers, utilities and others make investment and business decisions every day.

About Hanley Wood

Hanley Wood is the premier information, media, event, and strategic marketing services company serving the residential, commercial design and construction industries. Utilizing the largest editorial- and analytics-driven construction market database, the company produces powerful market data and insights; award-winning publications, newsletters and websites; marquee trade shows and executive events; and strategic marketing solutions. To learn more, visit