At the mid-year point, homes were selling at the slowest pace in 14 years. Big Builder Online asked its readers to report on their 2Q results as well as how their outlooks for the year have changed.
Almost half of the respondents--45%--described 2Q new-home sales as weak, while 15% went even further to call the quarter a total flop.
"Buyers are still hesitant that they can get the right mortgage or sell their current home at a fair price and not highly discounted," noted one respondent.
Ten percent of the respondents said new-home sales were just OK, while the remainder had better results: 5% called 2Q sales fantastic, and 25% said they were solid.
Respondents were mixed on how the 2Q sales stacked up against their projections, with a little more than half--55%--saying sales met or exceeded projections and the remainder saying sales were below projections.
Compared with six months ago, 30% of respondents said their business projections are significantly more negative, 25% said slightly more negative, 25% said the same, 15% said slightly more optimistic, and 5% said significantly more optimistic.
Looking ahead to the second half of the year, half of the respondents said they predict sales will remain flat compared with the first half of the year. However, 20% said they expect sales to decrease slightly, and 15% said they will decrease considerably. One respondent said, "I expect every deal to continue to be a battle, I see no reason that consumer confidence will suddenly be boosted, which is what would need to happen for sales pace to escalate."
On the optimistic side, 10% said they expect sales to improve slightly, and 5% think they will improve considerably.
However, even with mixed responses on 2Q new-home sales and the outlook for the remainder of the year, 65% of respondents said they expect their company to be profitable for 2011, with 35% saying marginally and 30% saying absolutely. Another 15% of respondents said they don't expect their company to be profitable for the year, but they're getting close to breaking even. The remaining 20% said they aren't close to being profitable.