Public builder Q3 reports.

Calculated Risk guest poster, housing economics whiz-Boomer Tom Lawler takes a look at the early tally of public home builder quarterly earnings reports, sleuthing for themes and first-blush take-away.

While it may be suggested that five bellwether companies' performance cannot serve fully as a secular proxy, these companies represent a mix of business model, sizes and capital structure types, geographies, and primary customer segments.

PulteGroup, NVR, Meritage, MDC Holdings, and M/I Homes had total net orders in Q3 that came out 8.1% ahead of 2014's Q3 total. The themes, as Lawler writes?

Most builders noted that both land and labor costs had increased “significantly” of late, though costs of most materials were down. Several of the builders said that they were “able” to increase prices to match increases in overall construction costs in most markets, though at least one builder implied that price hikes in a few markets where costs had increased significantly may have led to fewer home orders.

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