Three important takeaways from ULI Fall Meeting

Posted in National Housing Market | Posted on 10-21-2014 | Written by Metrostudy News

brad hMetrostudy’s Brad Hunter will be attending the ULI Fall Meeting and here are 3 important takeaways he thinks every attendee should take note of!

1) Housing starts are only going to be up 2% or so for 2014. Is 2015 the year that housing “starts” will take off?

2) How will “denser suburbs” help to address the needs of home buyers in the next three years?

3) Will mortgage availability increase anytime soon?

Follow @BradleyHunter on Twitter to hear more from the meeting and remember to #ULINYC!

10/21/2014: 2014 ULI Fall Meeting

Posted in Events, National Housing Market | Posted on 10-21-2014 | Written by Metrostudy News

Schedule at a Glance

Top 4 Obstacles and Boosters for New Home Construction

Posted in National Housing Market | Posted on 10-17-2014 | Written by Brad Hunter

brad hHousing starts rose by 6.3% in September, which places activity 17.8% above September of last year, according to the government report just released at 8:30.

Read full article on Builder

Top five things to learn at the Land and Homebuilding Conference.

Posted in National Housing Market | Posted on 10-06-2014 | Written by Metrostudy News

brad h - With land and lot prices having shot up,  are there any bargains left, and where should you look for them?

- What are the risks that the large builders will overdo it again this time around?   How can one protect oneself from the damage?

- How can the market due diligence process be sped up?

- Now that some buyers are falling off of land deals, what is the opportunity to “swoop in.”

- How will the inevitable builder “margin squeeze” affect land-buying behavior, and private equity returns?

Catch Metrostudy’s Chief Economist, Brad Hunter’s on October 7th at 8:45 AM and 12:30 PM

8:45 AM - Market Update… Where are we in the Homebuilding Cycle? 

12:30 PM - Feasibility Studies & the True Cost of Land Development


Six Takes on Housing from Metrostudy

Posted in National Housing Market | Posted on 09-29-2014 | Written by Metrostudy News

Everybody wants a piece of Brad Hunter’s housing expertise these days!

brad hChief economist Brad Hunter opined on buyers, sellers, hot markets, and the overall temperature of the housing market in six media interviews this past week.

Click Here to See All Interviews

New Single-Family Home sales up in August , but not in every market

Posted in National Housing Market | Posted on 09-24-2014 | Written by Metrostudy News


brad hSales of new single-family houses in August 2014 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000, up by a startling 18%.   This is according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

Read Full Article Here

Also see Brad Hunter’s interview on CNBC discussing data from today’s housing report and he explains why the Western housing market is so hot!

Metrostudy’s Top 15 Markets as measured by change in move-ins

Posted in National Housing Market | Posted on 09-18-2014 | Written by Metrostudy News

Metrostudy does a 100% count within markets across the country of move-ins into newly-built homes.  This is a powerful and reliable measure of end-user demand.  The top two markets have outsized percentage changes because they are starting from a low base number.  In terms of the large markets, Central Florida has seen a 24.3% increase in new home demand in the past year, and Charlotte, NC, has seen a 23.4%.  Atlanta, which was savaged by the downturn, has seen a 22.9% increase.  New home construction is picking up in all of these markets, as builders scramble to meet increased demand.


Housing Starts Decline in August

Posted in National Housing Market | Posted on 09-18-2014 | Written by Metrostudy News


Today’s government data release on housing starts showed a 14.4% decline in the month of August, mostly driven by multifamily.  Single-family detached home construction was only down 2.4% on the month.  Total starts are still 8.0% higher than August of last year, and single-family starts are still 4.2% above the year-ago pace.

The apparent stagnation in national housing starts is not universal.  Looking deeper, and using Metrostudy’s more granular detail, we see that certain markets have seen considerable strength.  In our local-market tracking, we are still seeing significant gains versus a year ago in Atlanta (+16.2%), Nashville (+11.0%).  Southern California is also up sharply compared with this time a year ago (+16.7%), and Chicago has pulled itself up a bit from its recently extremely low levels as well (+15.4%).

New home production has gyrated month-to-month, but all in all, this has been a “flat” year, as measured by the Census Bureau data.  Totaling all housing starts in 2014, the number is only going to end up a few percentage points higher than in 2013.

Builder sentiment is still improving, reflecting the adjustment of home buyers to the higher level of home prices, and higher confidence in their personal finances.  Job growth is still erratic, but generally trending higher, and overall spending power of consumers is up.

Single-family starts fell 80% during the downturn, and have since only made it back to about 50% of “normal.”  Improving demand, combined with a need for public homebuilders to open more communities, will push the level of starts higher by 15% to 20% next year.

In thinking about the forecast, it is vital to look not just at home production, but also at the demand for new housing.  We measure demand the hard way:  we drive new subdivisions counting curtains and welcome mats.  The pace of move-ins has risen almost 10%, comparing projected calendar year 2014 with actual calendar year 2013.  That shows that the increases in housing starts is justified by bona fide user-driven demand.


Metrostudy Acquires New Home Trends

Posted in National Housing Market | Posted on 09-15-2014 | Written by Metrostudy News

Enhances Geographic Coverage and Service Offerings in Pacific Northwest

Washington, D.C. – September 15, 2014 – Metrostudy, Inc., a Hanley Wood company and the leading provider of primary research and analysis to the U.S. housing industry, announced today that it has acquired New Home Trends, Inc., a real estate research and consulting business serving the Pacific Northwest United States.

“The acquisition of New Home Trends represents an important step in Metrostudy’s growth strategy by enhancing our geographic scope and coverage,” said Peter Goldstone, CEO of Hanley Wood.  “The addition of Seattle, the 10th largest US MSA, completes our national footprint with local coverage in all of the top 20 MSAs.”

New Home Trends is based in Bothell, WA.  In addition to the Seattle market, New Home Trends offers extensive research coverage and analysis in Portland, OR, Boise, ID and Spokane, WA.

“Seattle is one of the fastest growing housing markets in the United States, making it an important growth opportunity for our customers,” said Chris Veator, President of Metrostudy.   “New Home Trends has deep knowledge and research capabilities in the Pacific Northwest that will greatly complement our existing Metrostudy platform and allow us to offer an even more robust and valuable product platform to our customers.”

New Home Trends will be combined with Metrostudy and operate under the Metrostudy brand name.  Todd Britsch, President of New Home Trends, will continue his leadership role in the business as Regional Director for the Seattle and Oregon region.

“We are extremely excited about this transaction and the opportunities it will create for our employees and customers,” said Britsch.  “Metrostudy has an exceptional management team that recognizes the value of our platform and our expertise in the markets we serve.  Our customers will greatly benefit from enhanced and additional services and functionality offered by the combined business.”

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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


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 New Home Trends

New Home Trends provides the research and consulting needed to stay ahead of the Pacific Northwest’s dynamic Real Estate market. New Home Trends combines an extensive database of residential building information with experience, vision, and market knowledge and provides full-scale consulting services and on-demand reports for each community in the development process. For more information, visit


Top 20 Master Planned Communities Midway through 2014

Posted in National Housing Market | Posted on 09-03-2014 | Written by Tom Hayden

You cannot build a home without a Lot.  The availability of lots and ability to refresh supply has become the theme this year, as competition rises throughout the country.  Based on Metrostudy’s quarterly lot-by-lot survey, the Top 20 MPCs started more than 14,800 homes in the past twelve months, roughly the same as the number of starts noted in 2Q13 at 14,900 (still 60% above levels in 2Q12).  Starts still outpaced annual lot deliveries among more than half of the Top 20 MPCs, with a combined total of 13,700 lot deliveries over the last four quarters.  Of the seven MPCs that started fewer homes annually between 2Q13 and 2Q14 compared the previous year, only one delivered more lot than it had twelve months earlier.  And while lot deliveries are expected to increase further into early 2015 in most areas, as long as home starts grow at even a modest pace, lot supply will remain constrained, leading to continued change among communities within the Top 20 MPCs.

Central Florida’s The Villages remains the top MPC in the country with 3,447 annual new home starts through 2Q14.  The Villages also delivered the most lots over the past twelve months, more than 3,100, which accounted for 25% of all annual lot deliveries in the Central Florida Market.

The biggest gains in starts activity were achieved by the Great Park in Orange County, California.  Opening last year at this time, the redevelopment of former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station posted more than a 2168% gain in starts over the past twelve months (+542 homes started).  Nearby, the Rancho Mission Viejo community followed with a 256% increase and starts in both Houston’s Canyon Gate West and Jacksonville’s Nocatee communities also rose by more than 50%.

(Note: Please click on the chart to view a larger image)

tmpc 2014 2Q

There were five new additions to the list over the past 12 months (see chart).  Those communities slipping out of the top 20 this year include:  Sienna Plantation, Mountain House, Highlands Ranch, Firethorne, and Westridge. 

Additional highlights from the Top 20 Master Planned Communities:

  • Production is increasing throughout the nation, but Texas still carried eight of the top 20 spots on the list, with Houston holding seven spots.  Additionally, Florida reported four communities.  Nevada and California each reported three communities, while Colorado and Utah each netted one.  Communities within Arizona and Washington DC are on the rise and challenging to enter the Top 20 (both have at least one community within the next ten spots).
  • 13 of the Top 20 MPCs started more homes during the past 12 months compared to the previous 12 months. Only six communities, however, have delivered more lots over the past twelve months than they started.
  • The highest rising communities on the list were new entry, Great Park (at #9), Nocatee rising from #10 to #3, and Stapleton, up from #11 to #7 through the end of 2Q14.
  • As noted earlier, the largest year-over-year gain in start production were reported in Great Park (+2168%), followed by Rancho Mission Viejo (+256%), Canyon Gate West (+68%), and Nocatee (+53%).  Declines occurred in seven communities among the top 20 MPCs, including Cinco Ranch (-34%), Mountain’s Edge (-34%) and Providence (-34%). 
  • Three of the communities on the list were less than 15% away from build-out through 2Q14:  Cinco Ranch, the Woodlands, and Mountain’s Edge.  Only three communities were less than 40% complete:  Great Park, Daybreak, and Nocatee.
  • Two developers achieved multiple MPCs on the list:  Johnson Development (all three MPC’s were in Houston) and Focus Property Group (both in Las Vegas).
  • Seven of the Top 20 MPCs held less than a 10.0-month supply of Vacant Developed Lots.  Four communities were down to a 5.0-month supply or less:  Rancho Mission Viejo (2.7 months), Great Park (2.8 months), Stapleton (4.7 months), and The Villages (4.8 months).

These results are based solely on the Metrostudy lot-by-lot housing survey.  Results are not based on a phone survey to individual developers, nor homebuilders.  Metrostudy’s independent survey monitors the supply of detached and attached homes on a quarterly basis.  In most markets, our survey tracks all condominium, townhome, duplex, and single family construction activity.  The survey allows us to consistently and accurately track the size of the total market, as well as supply and demand within various levels of each market.  Further, it helps to establish the depth of each market and the scope of the competition.  The information included within this report has been collected in the field by Metrostudy staff, driving and surveying every lot in every community, within each market surveyed.  Rankings are based on the annual start activity of each master plan surveyed under this methodology.