Nicolas Rapp

In June, BUILDER released the first Demand Index from Metrostudy’s regional directors, which ranks demand levels for new homes and new home building lots across the U.S. Metrostudy also collects data on traffic from builders nationwide, which can identify patterns and trends. We asked the directors for insight on buyer traffic—how many potential buyers visit sales offices in each market. On a scale of 1-10 (1 low, 10 high), they compared traffic in their markets from the first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014. The scores show a decrease in traffic year-over-year from 2013 to 2014, with an average score of 7.3 (2013) and 6.4 (2014). In select markets like South Florida and Houston, traffic held strong year-over-year, and improved most significantly in Arizona’s Phoenix-Tucson market, jumping from a score of 4 to 8. “All builders [in the Phoenix market] feel the traffic is strong, but they are not converting into sales for the builders,” says Rachel Cantor, regional director of the Phoenix-Tucson market. Most regional directors concurred on lower traffic, but low sale conversions resonate across many of the markets, regardless of score. Price increases and mortgage rate increases continue to daunt prospective buyers, but the good news is that people are still looking.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Phoenix, AZ, Tucson, AZ.