Charlotte Housing 2Q14 Survey: The Price of “Dirt”, Zoning, and Financing Impacts Future Residential Development

Posted in Charlotte Market | Posted on 09-02-2014 | Written by Metrostudy News

  • 2Q14 Housing Starts up 9.2% over 2Q13
  • 2Q14 New Home Closings up 19.3% over 2Q13
  • Levels of Finished Vacant New Homes has Dropped to the Lowest Supply ever in Charlotte

September 2014: Metrostudy’s 2Q14 survey of the Charlotte housing market shows continued strength and improvement. Starts and Closings are up. Total inventory supplies are well within equilibrium. Finished Inventory supplies are low relative to our increased closings. Vacant Developed Lot supplies for the total Charlotte market are fast approaching equilibrium but are in short supply in Charlotte’s most desirable submarkets.

2Q14 starts for all product types were 2,469, a healthy and needed increase from last quarter’s 1,979. 2Q14 starts were 9.2% higher than the 2,262 quarterly starts from a year ago in 2Q13. Charlotte’s annual starts (rolling four quarters) as of second quarter rose to 9,380, ahead of last quarter’s annual total of 9,173.  2Q14 Closings totaled 2,249 units, 280 more than our 1Q14 closings. Compared to one year ago, Charlotte’s 2Q14 closings increased by 19.3%. Annualized 2Q14 closings broke through the 9,000 mark with 9,093 for all product types. Last quarter’s year over year total was 8,730.

Bill Miley, Metrostudy’s Regional Charlotte Director says we don’t need to be economists to determine Charlotte new housing trends.  The supply of new homes (as well as resale listings) is very low. Low supply will lead to higher prices.  Through the first half of 2014, we are ‘using up’ more than twice the number of vacant lots via starts (4,427 1st half starts) versus new lots being developed (2,267). That’s a lot supply train wreck heading at us. It has always been true that builders and buyers can move farther into the exurbs and find better affordability. With the ‘closer in’ lots gone and impossible to replace at today’s lot prices, growth will continue, as it always has, a little ‘farther out’.

Single Family Detached Housing: Charlotte’s 2Q14 Quarterly starts of single family detached new housing units increased to 2,259 up 23.5% from 1Q14.  Quarter over quarter Annualized single family detached Starts totaled 8,617 up from the 8,415 as of first quarter. Detached Annual Closings in Charlotte were 8,173 new homes, up from 1Q’s 7,779.  The 4,151 detached inventory homes as of 2Q14 reflect a low 6.1- month supply, unchanged from the 6.1 supply in 1Q14.

Attached Housing: Quarterly Starts of all attached housing totaled 210, up from 151 in 1Q14. Charlotte had 763 year-over-year Attached Starts at the end of second quarter. Annualized Closings as of quarters’ end continue to decrease, now at 920 units. Over all Attached inventory numbers and supplies continue to decrease due to the reluctance of builders to start new buildings and inability to obtain financing.

Townhomes: Quarterly Starts increased to 195, up from last quarter’s 140. These starts were badly needed to help replenish the inventory supply that had been under six months for the past three quarters. Annual Townhome starts as of 2Q14 rose slightly in Charlotte to 686. Town home closings will continue to increase as the finished supply improves. Affordable townhomes remain in short supply.

Condominiums: Annualized condominium starts throughout the Charlotte market as of second quarter of 2014 totaled 75 units with 15 new second quarter starts. The 116 units of condominium inventory, relative to annual closings, put the current supply level at 8.9 months.

Total inventory of homes in all stages of construction (Model Homes + Finished Vacant + Under Construction) rose slightly to 4,652 in 2Q14 over the previous quarter but not enough to increase the monthly supply level which remained unchanged at 6.1 months. Months of supply remained low due to the calculation of monthly closings relative to 2nd quarter inventory numbers. A 6-8 month supply of inventory is considered to be in equilibrium.

When viewed relative to Annual Closings, the 1,164 units of Finished Vacant Inventory dropped to the lowest supply we have ever recorded in Charlotte at 1.5-months, down from the 1.6 monthly supply that existed at the end of 1Q14. We closed more new homes in 2Q14 than we completed. A ‘normal’ supply of finished inventory would be 2-2.5 months.

The total number of Vacant Developed Lots in the market at the end of 2Q14 continued its rapid decline to 25,972. We have absorbed 4,448 lots in the first half of this year while only 2,345 newly developed lots have been delivered.  Relative to demand, the 25,972 Vacant Developed Lots in Charlotte represents a 33.2 month supply, falling from the 35.5-month supply at the end of 1Q14 due to Charlotte’s significantly higher starts compared to the new lots being put on the ground. At our current rate of absorption we should be under a 30 month supply by year’s end. Equilibrium is considered to be 24 to 30 months.

“Today, the Vacant Developed Lot Supply in our nine county Charlotte market has dropped to a 33.2 month supply; by market standards, still too high,” said Miley. “There are 964 ‘active’ subdivisions in Charlotte and by definition; they all have some Vacant Developed Lots. 204 or 21% of these subdivisions have not had a single start in the past four quarters- and it’s not because of price. Most date back to 2007 when builders needed lots anywhere and our housing market was running at full speed. Then the world changed. Today, those subdivisions are considered too far out for most builders and buyers. They are perfect candidates for long term investment purchase.”

Look at the vacant lot supply in Charlotte’s subdivisions where there have been at least 12 annual starts. (That’s only one per month). Charlotte’s Vacant Developed Lot supply plummets to 13.3 months! By market area, the VDL supply in Mecklenburg would be 11.7 months, Union 11.8, Cabarrus 12.6, Gaston 20.5, Iredell 21.6, and South Carolina (Lancaster & York). Both land prices, lender A&D requirement and local zoning restrictions are affecting our ability to replace subdivisions where we need them. This trend is affecting  future affordability and impacting both starts and closings, as it is in every major housing market in the country.

For information contact: bill miley @ 704-650-7584
Email bmiley@metrostudy.com

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.  www.metrostudy.com

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 hanleywood.com.

Housing starts up strong, with some stand-out markets

Posted in Atlanta Condo Market, Charlotte Market, Inland Empire Market, Naples - Ft. Myers Market, Nashville Market, National Housing Market, Reno Market, Rio Grande Valley Market, Sarasota - Bradenton Market, Southern California Market, St. George - Mesquite Market | Posted on 08-19-2014 | Written by Brad Hunter

See Top 10 Markets for New Residential  Construction Here 

brad hHousing starts numbers out today surprised many observers with its strength (+15.7%), but we find it to have been in line with our actual counts, released earlier this month. As we predicted, last month’s Census estimate was revised upward, and now the numbers are back in line with the trends revealed by the Metrostudy roll-ups.

The last release of housing starts data from the Census Bureau caused undue alarm about a collapse of activity in the South.  The Census release had shown a 29.6% decline for total starts in the South, but as we pointed out at the time, this exaggerated the weakness in the south. As a matter of fact Metrostudy’s research shows that several markets in the south are up, both based on prior quarter results, and year ago. Raleigh was down 5% versus a year ago, but Charlotte, Atlanta, Texas, and South Florida showed increases.

Metrostudy’s data show that some of the most “beaten-down” markets are now doing better.  In Las Vegas, for example, housing starts were up 16% from 1st quarter 2014 to 2nd quarter 2014, and Phoenix showed a 12.3% increase quarter-on-quarter (though it is still down sharply year-on-year). Housing starts in Chicago were up 87% quarter-on-quarter, and up 30% year-on-year.  Naples Florida showed double-digit gains, both quarterly and annually.

Some significant trends were evident in Metrostudy’s data in California. Housing starts in the Riverside area rose 48.5% quarter on quarter, and are up 14% year-on-year.

We are seeing an increase in lot development in Riverside as lot shortages around the I-15 Corridor have intensified. The Inland Empire is developing its own economy, with 3% job growth, meaning that is it is no longer just a bedroom community for L.A.

Housing starts in Northern California rose 92% in the second quarter compared with the previous quarter, and are up 19% year-on-year. Starts there are at a record high since the boom. Contra Costa and Alameda County had particularly strong increases.

Also see, Brad Hunter discuss the promising increases in the Residential Remodeling Index and New Residential Construction this month on Bloomberg TV.

 

Is Activity in the South…Going South?

Posted in Atlanta Market, Central Florida Market, Charlotte Market, Dallas - Ft. Worth Market, Houston Market, Jacksonville Market, Naples - Ft. Myers Market, National Housing Market, Northern Virginia Market, Raleigh - Durham Market, Rio Grande Valley Market, San Antonio Market, Sarasota - Bradenton Market, Suburban Maryland Market, Tampa Market, The Triad Market | Posted on 08-04-2014 | Written by Brad Hunter

The brad hgovernment release on housing starts for June showed a sharp decline, concentrated in what the Census Bureau defines as “The South.”  Single-family starts were down in June by 9.0% from the previous month, and down 4.3% from twelve months earlier.  Within that number, almost all the decline was in the South, down 20.1% versus the previous month and down 14.5% versus a year ago.

Rumors of the South’s demise are greatly exaggerated.

Read Full Article and See Quarterly SFD Starts

 

 

 

 

Charlotte Housing Market Metrostudy 1Q14 Survey Results: Economic Expansion Should Drive the Market Going Forward

Posted in Charlotte Market | Posted on 05-19-2014 | Written by Metrostudy News

May 19, 2014: Much has changed in Charlotte over the past few years, perhaps nothing more significant than decreasing unemployment rates and a rebound in both the housing market and consumer confidence. We were pushing 12% unemployment in 2011 and today it’s 6.4%, one the steepest drops in the country. We were barely staying afloat in 2011 with less than 4,600 annual starts. Today, we have moved north of 9,000. Consumer confidence at 82.3 has risen 21.2 points over the past year. Both the inventory of used homes for sale in Charlotte as well as available new housing are at historic lows. Home values continue to rise due to low supply and strong demand. The median closing price of new homes, based on deed documents, has increased 36% from $190,000 in 1Q11 to $257,800 in 1Q14.

“The signs of improvement are everywhere. Charlotte’s annual starts have more than doubled since 1Q11,” said Bill Miley, Regional Director of Metrostudy’s Charlotte Market. “At 6.1 months of supply, Charlotte’s total new housing inventory is at the lowest level in six years. Finished Vacant Inventory at 1.6 months is at a historic low. Foreclosures are now below pre-recession levels.”

Metrostudy’s 1Q14 survey of the ten county Charlotte market shows that quarterly starts for all product types were 1,985, slightly lower than last quarter’s 2,051. First quarter starts were 1% higher than the 1,965 quarterly starts from a year ago in 1Q13 despite our nasty winter weather. Charlotte’s annual starts (rolling four quarters) as of 1Q14 rose to 9,190, 38% higher than the annual closing rate of one year ago. Charlotte’s 1Q14 closings at 1,983 reflected a small decrease from fourth quarter numbers. Inclement weather forced many builders to miss their targeted first quarter closing dates. The 8,746 annualized 1Q14 closings for all product types are 21% higher than the annual closings from one year ago.

Charlotte’s Vacant Developed Lot Supply

Charlotte’s total vacant lot supply continues to decrease, now down to 35.7 months from a 98 month supply two years ago. While this supply is still above normal equilibrium levels of 24-30 months, (which represents the time to find land, conduct due diligence including environmental studies, obtain full municipal entitlements, arrange financing, and finally develop the property so that home building can begin, there is more to the story). 96% of Charlotte’s housing activity takes place in seven ‘core’ counties, when we exclude the three rural emerging Charlotte counties, the vacant developed lot supply plummets to a 26 month supply. Union county has only an 18.6 month supply of vacant developed lots and most of those are under contract to larger builders. Both developers and builders are looking for undeveloped land parcels in the closer in more desirable locations for future residential communities. Demand is high as is the price tag for these land tracts. The developed lot costs in future subdivisions will be significantly higher than today, further driving up the sales price of new homes.

With the last vestiges of a cold harsh winter behind us, Charlotte is poised for significant job growth and new housing starts. The increase in recent office leasing by MetLife and AIG has led to some new office development, including plans for new buildings in SouthPark, the Ballantyne area and uptown Charlotte, where two new office towers have been proposed. The new intermodal facility opened by Norfolk Southern late last year between two runways at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport should encourage additional growth of warehouses, distribution centers and light manufacturing around the airport. Charlotte is extending its existing light rail line, with a nine-mile, $1 billion addition to the north that will connect uptown Charlotte and the University area. Charlotte’s economic indicator compass says our course direction is correct, but as always, the key to our economic and housing recovery is continued job growth.

For information contact: bill miley @ 704-650-7584
Email bmiley@metrostudy.com

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. www.metrostudy.com

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 hanleywood.com.

ANNUAL STARTS UP 38%, CLOSINGS UP 29%—- I’ll Take It!

Posted in Charlotte Market | Posted on 02-21-2014 | Written by Metrostudy News

(Charlotte, NC – February 21, 2014) Charlotte’s new housing market will continue to experience moderate growth in 2014 but there will be some bumps in the road to be mindful of, according to a recent report by Metrostudy, a national housing data and consulting firm that maintains the most extensive primary database on residential construction in the US housing market.

For the fourth quarter ending December 2013, Charlotte’s quarterly starts for all product types were 2,068, down from last quarter’s 2,891. Quarterly starts are historically lower in the fourth quarter. The 4Q13 starts were 23.5% higher than the 1,675 starts from a year ago in 4Q12. Charlotte’s annualized starts (rolling four quarters) for 2013 increased to 9,194 a 38.7% increase over 2012. 4Q13 Closings totaled 2,219 units, down 440 from last quarter’s closings. New Home Closings are being affected by low finished inventory numbers—‘You can’t close them if they’re not finished’. Compared to one year ago, Charlotte’s 4Q13 closings increased by 28.7%. The 8,465 homes closed in 2013 for all product types represented a 29.1% increase over 2012.

Total Inventory of new homes (detached, town homes, and condos) in all stages of construction (Model Homes + Finished Vacant + Under Construction) decreased to 4,457 in 4Q13 from last quarter’s 4,608. Total Inventory fell to a 6.3-month supply, the lowest in five years. Simply said, inventory months of supply will fall when we close more than we start. South Mecklenburg had the lowest total inventory at a 5.1-month supply. A 7-8 month supply of inventory is considered to be in equilibrium.

“When viewed relative to Annual Closings, the 1,190 units of Finished Vacant Inventory for all product types, was at a 1.6-month supply. This was unchanged from last quarter and remains the lowest ever recorded in Charlotte.. Completing the almost 3,000 under construction homes will be high priority in first quarter, but challenging due to winter conditions when construction schedules are typically longer,” said Bill Miley, Regional Director of Metrostudy’s Charlotte market.

The total number of Vacant Developed Lots in the market at the end of 4Q13 was 28,322. Relative to starts, this represented a 37.0-month supply, a huge and needed absorption from the 82.2-month supply just two years ago. 2,068 Vacant Lots were consumed in starts while 1,860 new lots were delivered. Union County and North Mecklenburg showed the least supply of vacant lots at 20.0 and 25.1 months respectively. Equilibrium supply levels are typically 24-30 months. “As starts continue to increase, Vacant Developed Lots are being absorbed via starts faster than we put new ones on the ground in many locations that are already experiencing lot shortages.” said Miley.

Future lot numbers have decreased slightly over the past two years, primarily due to the expiration of permits. These paper (approved-not developed) lots in the process throughout the Charlotte market at the end of 2013 represent a 68 month supply. “Many of these properties are in locations that were just beginning to experience growth in 2007.. They are simply too far out but may become the only alternative for buyers and builders seeking affordable opportunities. Consumers are now facing the realization that new homes will cost much more on closer in lots not yet developed. Combined with higher labor, development and material costs the Sticker Shock will be real,” said Miley.

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 www.metrostudy.com

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 hanleywood.com.

The Charlotte housing market experienced a strong third quarter

Posted in Charlotte Market | Posted on 10-29-2013 | Written by Metrostudy News

(Charlotte, NC – October 29, 2013) Third quarter new housing data for Charlotte could not have been better. Most builders reported the recent uptick in interest rates had little negative effect on home sales, according to a recent report by Metrostudy, a national housing data and consulting firm that maintains the most extensive primary database on residential construction in the US housing market.

For the third quarter ending September 2013, Charlotte’s quarterly starts for all product types were 2,893, a substantial increase over last quarter’s 2,262. 3Q13 starts were 51.3% higher than the 1,912 quarterly starts from a year ago in 3Q12.  Third quarter Closings totaled 2,652 new homes, 768 more than last quarter’s closings. Compared to one year ago, Charlotte’s 3Q13 closings increased by a dramatic 55.1%.  “Our projected 2013 year end growth of new home starts appears to have been too conservative. Expectations are now that we will have a 30 to 40% increase in starts. Closings are expected to be up 25% over last year,” said Bill Miley, Regional Director of Metrostudy’s Charlotte market.

Total inventory of homes in all stages of construction (Model Homes + Finished Vacant + Under Construction) rose in the third quarter to 4,611 homes representing a 6.9-month supply. Housing Inventory months of supply decreased due to Charlotte’s strong quarterly closings even though total inventory increased. A 6-8 month supply of inventory is considered to be in equilibrium.  The Finished Vacant Inventory supply has dropped to a low 1.6 months.  We closed more homes than we were able to complete.

The total number of Vacant Developed Lots in the market at the end of 3Q13 continued to drop, now at 28,914. 2,893 lots were absorbed via new starts in the third quarter while only 1,900 new developed lots were added to our supply. Relative to lot absorption, the 28,914 Vacant Developed Lots in Charlotte represent a 39.4 month supply, having dropped from the 60-month supply at the end of last year. While still above the equilibrium threshold of a 24-28 month supply, there is a severe shortage of vacant lots in the closer in, more desirable locations.

“Rising home prices for new construction is guaranteed. The forces of supply and demand are real, however increasing labor costs, rising sticks and bricks cost, material shortages are also real. Let’s not forget that Vacant Developed Lot prices, development costs and vacant land are continuing to increase home costs constantly nibbling away at margins,” said Miley.

“Builders, lenders and developers must remember the ‘land lessons’ learned six to eight years ago. We need

lots, bellowed the builders. Developers responded by paying too much and going too far out. We were all guilty

of the ‘if you build it, they will come’ mentality. Builders bought them. Developers paid more and went farther

out until you had to pack a box lunch to get there. Then 2008 came. The rest is a painful history lesson.

Well, it is now 4Q13 and builders everywhere are saying; we need lots,” said Miley.

For information contact:

Bill Miley @ 704.650.7584

email bmiley@metrostudy.com

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.  www.metrostudy.com.

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 hanleywood.com.

The Charlotte housing market experienced a strong third quarter

Posted in Charlotte Market | Posted on 10-29-2013 | Written by Metrostudy News

(Charlotte, NC – October 29, 2013) Third quarter new housing data for Charlotte could not have been better. Most builders reported the recent uptick in interest rates had little negative effect on home sales, according to a recent report by Metrostudy, a national housing data and consulting firm that maintains the most extensive primary database on residential construction in the US housing market.

For the third quarter ending September 2013, Charlotte’s quarterly starts for all product types were 2,893, a substantial increase over last quarter’s 2,262. 3Q13 starts were 51.3% higher than the 1,912 quarterly starts from a year ago in 3Q12.  Third quarter Closings totaled 2,652 new homes, 768 more than last quarter’s closings. Compared to one year ago, Charlotte’s 3Q13 closings increased by a dramatic 55.1%.  “Our projected 2013 year end growth of new home starts appears to have been too conservative. Expectations are now that we will have a 30 to 40% increase in starts. Closings are expected to be up 25% over last year,” said Bill Miley, Regional Director of Metrostudy’s Charlotte market.

Total inventory of homes in all stages of construction (Model Homes + Finished Vacant + Under Construction) rose in the third quarter to 4,611 homes representing a 6.9-month supply. Housing Inventory months of supply decreased due to Charlotte’s strong quarterly closings even though total inventory increased. A 6-8 month supply of inventory is considered to be in equilibrium.  The Finished Vacant Inventory supply has dropped to a low 1.6 months.  We closed more homes than we were able to complete.

The total number of Vacant Developed Lots in the market at the end of 3Q13 continued to drop, now at 28,914. 2,893 lots were absorbed via new starts in the third quarter while only 1,900 new developed lots were added to our supply. Relative to lot absorption, the 28,914 Vacant Developed Lots in Charlotte represent a 39.4 month supply, having dropped from the 60-month supply at the end of last year. While still above the equilibrium threshold of a 24-28 month supply, there is a severe shortage of vacant lots in the closer in, more desirable locations.

“Rising home prices for new construction is guaranteed. The forces of supply and demand are real, however increasing labor costs, rising sticks and bricks cost, material shortages are also real. Let’s not forget that Vacant Developed Lot prices, development costs and vacant land are continuing to increase home costs constantly nibbling away at margins,” said Miley.

“Builders, lenders and developers must remember the ‘land lessons’ learned six to eight years ago. We need lots, bellowed the builders. Developers responded by paying too much and going too far out. We were all guilty of the ‘if you build it, they will come’ mentality. Builders bought them. Developers paid more and went farther out until you had to pack a box lunch to get there. Then 2008 came. The rest is a painful history lesson. Well, it is now 4Q13 and builders everywhere are saying; we need lots,” said Miley.

For information contact:
Bill Miley @ 704.650.7584
email bmiley@metrostudy.com

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.  www.metrostudy.com

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 hanleywood.com.

The Charlotte housing market shows slow steady growth in the second quarter

Posted in Charlotte Market | Posted on 08-16-2013 | Written by Metrostudy News

(Charlotte, NC – August 16, 2013) Charlotte’s housing market is slowly recovering, although the unemployment numbers keep rising, according to a recent report by Metrostudy, a national housing data and consulting firm that maintains the most extensive primary database on residential construction in the US housing market.

Nationally, July’s unemployment rate decreased to 7.4%. Private sector job gains support the outlook for a continued moderate, but subpar, growth path for this year. Real GDP is expected to rise just 1.7 percent in 2013 and 2.4 percent in 2014. “It is most likely that the sequestration process will create a much larger drag on our economy, later this year. The good news is Consumer confidence rose 7.1 points to 81.4 in June,” said Bill Miley, Regional Director of Metrostudy’s Charlotte Market, the bad news is the Charlotte MSA’s unemployment rate increased in June to 9.3% and job growth has remained flat for the year at just under 21,000.

For the second quarter ending June 2013, Charlotte’s quarterly starts for all product types were 2,260, a substantial increase over last quarter’s 1,956. 2Q13 starts were 36.1% higher than the 1,660 quarterly starts from a year ago in 2Q12. Charlotte’s annualized starts (rolling four quarters) as of second quarter rose to 7,812, higher than last quarter’s 7,200 annual starts. Annual starts have increased for seven consecutive quarters. 2Q13 Closings totaled 1,895 new homes, 184 more than last quarter’s. Compared to one year ago, Charlotte’s 2Q13 closings increased by 11.3%. The 7,056 annualized 2Q13 closings for all product types rose from last quarter’s year over year total of 6,864. Annual closings have gradually increased for six consecutive quarters. No doubt total closings have been held down due to the lack of finished inventory available to close. “Our original year end growth projection of 12 to 16% for 2013 appears low relative to starts for the first half of 2013. Our expectations are now for a 25-30% increase in starts with closings up 15-20% over last year,” said Miley.

Total inventory of homes in all stages of construction (Model Homes + Finished Vacant + Under Construction) rose in the second quarter to 4,382, representing a 7.5 -month supply. Housing Inventory supply increased due to Charlotte’s strong quarterly starts. A 6-8 month supply of inventory is considered to be in equilibrium. South Carolina (York and Lancaster) had the lowest inventory supply at 6.5 months. When viewed relative to Annual Closings, the 1,251 units of Finished Vacant Inventory for all product types represent a 2.1-month supply, down from 2.3 months’ that existed at the end of 1Q13. More new homes were closed than new ones completed in 2Q13, thus lowering the finished Vacant Inventory months of supply.

The 30,273 Vacant Developed Lots in the market at the end of 2Q13 continued its downward trend. There were 2,260 lots absorbed via new starts in 2Q13 while only 647 new developed lots added to our supply. Relative to lot absorption, the 30,273 vacant developed lots in Charlotte represent a 46.5 month supply, decreasing from the 60- month supply at the end of last year. Union County and North Mecklenburg had the lowest lot supplies at 31.2 and 31.6 months respectively and are close to equilibrium levels (25-30 months).

“At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the key to a strong Charlotte new housing recovery is quite simply more jobs. Our unemployment rate continues to rise as more and more people return to the labor force in search of employment. Despite the weak economic numbers, the Charlotte MSA ranks ninth in the country in single-family permits. This is a strong future indicator of continued new housing starts activity,” said Miley.

For information contact:
Bill Miley @ 704.650.7584
email bmiley@metrostudy.com

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.  www.metrostudy.com

About Hanley Wood

Hanley Wood, LLC is the premier media, event, information and strategic marketing services company serving the residential, commercial design and construction industries. Through its operating platforms, the company produces award-winning digital and print publications, Newsletters, websites, marquee trade shows and events, Market Intelligence data and strategic marketing solutions. The company also is North America’s leading publisher of home plans.

The Charlotte housing market continues to improve despite low employment numbers

Posted in Charlotte Market | Posted on 05-15-2013 | Written by Metrostudy News

(Charlotte, NC – May 9, 2013) Same song, second verse, “All we need are jobs”. Charlotte’s unemployment rate dropped in March to 8.8%, but for the wrong reasons, according to a recent report by Metrostudy, a national housing data and consulting firm that maintains the most extensive primary database on residential construction in the US housing market.

The Charlotte MSA’s annual job growth numbers continues to disappoint. It has dropped from 28,900 in November to 19,000 in March.  Industry sectors showing the greatest Annual job growth are Leisure and hospitality at 7,100 followed by Professional and Business Services with 4,400. The Charlotte MSA’s current unemployment rate continues to decrease, now  at 8.8%, but it’s still significantly higher than the national rate.  “It’s the mysterious  civilian labor force black hole that continues to swallow people the government says  have quit looking for jobs, thus lowering the employment rate”  said Bill Miley, Regional Director of Metrostudy’s Charlotte Market.

For the first quarter ending March 2013, Charlotte’s quarterly starts for all product types were 1,933, up from last quarter’s 1,674. The 1Q13 starts were 40.5% higher than the 1,376 starts from a year ago in 1Q12. Charlotte’s annualized starts as of first quarter increased to 7,166, a 28.5% increase over annual starts from one year ago. 1Q13 Closings totaled 1,715 units unchanged from fourth quarter which is traditionally one of our strongest closing quarters. “Closings continue to be constrained by low supplies of finished inventory for all product types which decreased from a 2.5 month supply in fourth quarter to a 2.2 month supply after 1Q13,”said Miley.  Charlotte’s first quarter closings increased by 20.0% compared to 1Q12. The 6,850 homes closed in the past four quarters represented a 13.6% increase over 1Q12’s annualized closings.

Total Inventory of new homes in all stages of construction increased to 3,988 in 1Q13 from last quarter’s 3,770 due to strong quarterly starts. Total Inventory rose to a 7.0 month supply from last quarter’s 6.9. Under construction homes increased to a 4.1 month supply, finished vacant fell to 2.2 months and model homes remained at 0.6. The South Carolina market consisting of York and Lancaster counties had the lowest inventory supply at 5.8 months. A 7-8 month supply of inventory is considered to be in equilibrium. When viewed relative to Annual Closings, the 1,278 units of finished vacant inventory for all product types, decreased to a 2.2-month supply from 4Q’s 2.5 MOS. “Charlotte continues to close more homes each quarter than new ones are completed. This lowers the monthly supply and is the catalyst for increased quarterly starts,” said Miley.

The total number of vacant developed Lots in the market at quarter’s end was 31,574. Relative to starts, this represented a 52.9 month supply, rapidly dropping from the 59.1 month supply at the end of 4Q12. We should be approaching a 40 month supply by year’s end and back within equilibrium by the middle of next year. 1,933 vacant lots were absorbed in new starts while 954 new lots were delivered. A 26-30 month supply is considered to be within equilibrium. “As annual starts continue to increase, vacant lots will disappear significantly faster than newly developed lots are delivered. This is not expected to change in the foreseeable future.  “Don’t be misled, said Miley, vacant lots in the best locations are already owned or under contract to the major builders.

“Despite low job growth, new housing activity is heating up in Charlotte. Annual single family permit activity is up 42.7% and actual physical starts are up 28.5%, which means we will continue to see more new housing starts in the months ahead,” said Miley.

For information contact:
Bill Miley @ 704.650.7584
email bmiley@metrostudy.com

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.  www.metrostudy.com

About Hanley Wood

Hanley Wood, LLC is the premier media, event, information and strategic marketing services company serving the residential, commercial design and construction industries. Through its operating platforms, the company produces award-winning digital and print publications, Newsletters, websites, marquee trade shows and events, Market Intelligence data and strategic marketing solutions. The company also is North America’s leading publisher of home plans.

03/07/13: Metrostudy – Realtor® EXPO Charlotte

Posted in Charlotte Market, Events | Posted on 02-12-2013 | Written by Bill Miley

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Realtor® EXPO will present a three person panel of experts discussing  information about the overall health of the Charlotte  housing market.

Thursday February 21, 2013

WHERE Blake Hotel - 555 S. McDowell St., Charlotte, NC 28204

AGENDA 8:30 a.m.: Registration - 9 a.m.: Trade show opens and 10-11 a.m.: Batter Up 2013: Spring Housing Market Panel

SPEAKERS Bill Miley – Metrostudy’s Regional Director of  the Charlotte Market

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