Table of Contents 2014

Products

Other Articles

  • Untapped Material: Industrial Hemp's Potent Potential

    Though it's been slow to gain acceptance in the United States, industrial hemp may be a key building material of the future.

     
  • ClareHome Declares Standardized Home Automation

    Pepper Viner Homes will partner with Clare Controls to offer whole-home automation as a standard feature in its Stonebridge community outside Tucson, Ariz.

     
  • High Sierra Showerheads Offer Low Flow, High Capability

    Patented Full Coverage Spray nozzle technology keeps water usage low and shower quality high.

     

Other Articles

  • 1Q14 Durham Housing Market Analysis

    The first-quarter Metrostudy data for the Durham market shows consistent existing and new-home sales and increased demand for new homes.

     
  • FourPlans: A Touch of Rustic Style

    Maybe you don’t want to go full-on country with your homes, but a few rugged details (here a porch, there some stone) can go a long way towards creating a welcoming vibe. These four plans strike the right balance.

     
  • 8 Glazing Products for Better Views

    For use indoors and in the building envelope, these partitions, windows, and surfaces provide texture, clarity, and a bit of glitz.

     
  • Using Smaller Appliances Can Have Big Results

    When square footage is at a premium, downsizing major appliances can provide serious space savings.

     
  • Millennials, Get Ready for a Close-Up Moment (or Decade) Among Marketers

    New York Times staffer Dionne Searcey reports that marketers, manufacturers and retailers are recognizing the Millennials' potential as the consumers who will drive the economy in the decades ahead.

     
  • Shea Teams With Houzz on Design Center Ideazz

    To better prepare Shea Homes customers for their design studio appointments, Shea recently joined the popular, online platform called Houzz.

     
  • Trendmaker's Will Holder Unplugs on TRI Pointe Union

    The president of Trendmaker Homes--Will Holder--talks publicly with the Houston Business Journal's Paul Takahashi about one of the largest mergers in U.S. home building history.

     
  • Boomerang Buyers Gain Critical Mass

    Washington Post staffer Michele Lerner looks a sizable--and growing--force in the housing recovery: Boomerang buyers who lost a home to a foreclosure or short sale between 2007 and 2013 are projected to make about 10 percent of all U.S. home purchases in 2014, according to John Burns Real Estate...

     
  • Flips Slip But By No Means Flop

    Nearly 31,000 single family homes were flipped nationwide in the second quarter of 2014 representing 4.6% of all U.S. single family home sales, down from 6.2% from a year ago. RealtyTrac's research team looks at the flipper market nine ways to Sunday, noting where quick-turnaround investors are...

     
  • Resales As a Harbinger of Housing Traction

    National Association of Home Builders economist Stephen Melman has commentary on yesterday's news that existing home sales increased for the fourth consecutive month while the share of distressed sales decreased.

     
  • Custom Home Market's Got Mojo Rising

    National Association of Home Builders economist Rob Dietz looks at Census Data from the Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose, which spotlights custom home building growth during the second quarter of 2014.

     
  • Foreclosure Sales Hit a Five-Year Low

    Wall Street Journal staffer Nick Timiraos contextualizes Thursday's existing sales report, which supports evidence that the housing market is moving out of the emergency ward and into a rehab facility (paywall).

     
  • Home Buyers Overwhelmed by Loan Info

    Wall Street Journal staffer Anya Martin taps into a Discover Home Loans reports that home buyers cite information overload when seeking mortgage advice-while specific totals on payments and rates are hard to get (paywall).

     
  • Housing's Top Policy Priorities In Focus

    HousingWire's Trey Garrison reports from the Bipartisan Policy Center Summit in Sun Valley, Idaho, on central themes: the housing tax credit should be raised 50%, a balance must be struck between an affordable housing policy and restricting mortgage availability to qualified borrowers, and the GSE...

     
  • BofA Court Docs Show Conflict and Trickery in Mortgages

    New York Times staffers Michael Corkery and Ben Protess report that documents in a settlement between the Bank of America and the Justice Department read like a highlight reel of mortgage sins.

     
  • Fed Up?

    Wall Street Journal staffer Jon Hilsenrath reports that central bankers gathering for the annual Jackson Hole conference confront a global economy that has once again disappointed, leaving them reluctant in some places and unable in others to turn off spigots of easy money employed since 2008 to...

     
  • Nontraditional Families Are Now Family Circle's Focus

    AdWeek's Emma Bazilian reports that Meredith’s Family Circle is getting a facelift with its September issue. But the redesign, introduced earlier this month, isn’t just cosmetic—the magazine is also updating its content in an effort to better address its readers’ lives in 2014.

     
  • America's 10 Least Affordable Cities

    CNBC real estate reporter Diana Olick seizes Zillow's new report that shows the least affordable cities for housing, based on how much of your income you give up to buy a new house.

     
  • These Are Americas' 10 Most Caring Cities

    Laura Allan and the Movoto team of places aces rank America's 10 most caring places, starting with a list of the 100 largest cities in the U.S., and factoring in data using sources including the 2010 U.S. Census, Facebook, and local business listings in criteria they saw as indicative of caring.

     
  • Factory Output Reaches a Four-Year Peak in August

    The U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in August, exceeding expectations and moving at the fastest pace in more than four years.

     
  • Housing America's Older Adults

     
  • Home Depot Names Retail Chief Menear As CEO

    Home Depot named the head of its retail operations, Craig Menear, as the home-improvement retailer's new chief executive, to take over from Frank Blake in November.

     
  • Jobless Claims Nudge Back to Under 300K

    The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits fell below 300,000 for the third time in five weeks, signaling once again that layoffs remain at a post-recession low amid an uptick in hiring in most major U.S. industries. Initial jobless claims fell to 298,000.

     
  • Mortgage Rates Track Downward Over Past 12 Months

    Rising mortgage rates have been taken a bunch of the blame this year for weak home sales, but better times may be ahead as data released Thursday showed that mortgage rates been dropping.

     
  • Leading Indicator Shows Solid July Gains

    A gauge of future U.S. economic activity rose more than expected in July, boosting hopes of stronger growth in the second half of the year. The Conference Board said on Thursday that its Leading Economic Index increased 0.9% last month after an upwardly revised 0.6% rise in June.

     
  • States With the Most Big Spenders

    Based on personal consumption expenditure (PCE) data recently released by the BEA, 24/7 Wall St. assessed the states that spent the most and the least. In addition to out-of-pocket household expenditures, PCE data also reflect expenditures by businesses, state and local governments, government...

     
  • Three in 10 Retirees Would Work if They Could

    The Fiscal Times staffer Rob Carver reports on a new poll that finds that 30% of retirees would "unretire" if a job became available.

     
  • Rich Man, Poor Man--The Wealth Gap Widens

    MarketWatch staffer Jeffry Bartash reports on new Census Bureau data that paints by numbers the picture of how the rich got a little richer in 2011 and the poor a little poorer--and most Americans are still worse off now compared to the pre-recession years.

     
  • 1Q14 Naples-Marco Island Housing Market Analysis

    The first-quarter Metrostudy data for the Naples-Marco Island housing market shows a small spike in sales at the start of 2014.

     
  • Nelson Homes Unveils Two Models Over $2 Million

    As if we needed more proof that the top end of the housing market is alive and well, Nelson Homes, part of the an independently owned and operated Arthur Rutenberg Homes franchise, has opened two models over $2 million in Florida.

     
  • Six Home Bath Products for Clean Design

    A roundup of indoor and outdoor bathroom products for kids, older adults, and everyone in between.

     
  • Single-Family Built For Rent Market Holds Steady

     
  • Shea Trilogy Brings Big-Time Active Adult Play to Carolinas

    Charlotte Business Journal staffer Ken Elkins reports that Trilogy Lake Norman, the 1,650-house Shea Homes development in eastern Lincoln County, will be a gated community aimed mostly at age 55-plus owners.

     
  • Weekley Unveils 4-Story Detached, Apt for Houston's Heights

     
  • Lennar Acquires Pinnacle Mortgage Group

    Universal American Mortgage Co., the mortgage banking subsidiary of Lennar Corp. has acquired certain assets of Colorado-based Pinnacle Mortgage Group.

     
  • Ply Gem Acquires Fortune Brands' Simonton Windows

    PROSALES staffer Tim Regan zeroes in on the details of the transaction, valued at $130 million, more than one third of Simonton's annual revenues of $300 million.

     
  • States Where Average Electricity Costs Could Electrify Your Wallet

    The Electric Power Monthly report released last month by the U.S. Energy Information Administration details energy consumption, and the average retail price of electricity to customers in every U.S. state monthly and annually from 2007 to May 2014. Which states and regions saw the biggest price...

     
  • Architects Wax Bullish

    Calculated Risk's Bill McBride tracks the American Institute of Architects: Architecture Billings Index, noting it's reached its highest mark since 2007. This covers commercial assignments, essentially, but includes multifamily apartments in its mix.

     
  • A Sneak Preview Prediction on Home Resales

    Zillow economic research analyst Aaron Terrazas plugs numbers into two models--one based on recent fundamentals and the other based on historical trends--and takes an educated stab at predicting, ahem, a very healthy bump in existing home sales.

     
  • Mozilo's Back In the Subprime Time of His Life

    Countrywide Financial Corp. co- founder Angelo Mozilo hasn't escaped the wrath of prosecutors for his company's role in inflating the U.S housing bubble that preceded the financial crisis.

     
  • Source Says BofA to Pay $16.5 billion in Mortgage Bond Make-Good

    Bank of America Corp is expected to pay more than $16.5 billion to end investigations into mortgage securities that the bank and its units sold in the run-up to the financial crisis, in a deal that could be announced as early as Thursday, a person familiar with the matter said.

     
  • LBM's M&A Forecast: Continued Torrid Conditions

    Strong interest in deals by both buyers and sellers, plus good financing conditions, will sustain a hot market

     
  • Rates Hold Their Line

    Mortgage rates for 30-year fixed mortgages remained fairly stable this week, with the current rate borrowers were quoted on Zillow Mortgages at 4.06%.

     
  • Red States' Govs Boast Stronger Economic Growth

    Are Republican governors better for a state's economy? Fresh evidence offers some tantalizing clues, reports Jeffry Bartash on MarketWatch.

     
  • New-Home Permits, Heat-Mapped

    CityLab demo guru Richard Florida heat-maps residential construction permits based on Trulia data. He notes that the Boston-Washington corridor is up; the Rustbelt and Sunbelt are down.

     
  • Less Distress: Housing Heals as Sales Trend in Normal Deals

    CoreLogic research analyst Molly Boesel clocks in with word that distressed sales accounted for 11.4% of total home sales in June, the lowest share since December 2007 and a strong improvement from the same time a year ago when this category made up 15.8%.

     
  • Why 'G-Fees' Have Taken Center Stage in Housing Finance Debate

    The hot-button topic of what Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should charge for loan guarantees is emerging as a key issue in reviving a private-label securitization market.

     
  • Earlier Rate Hikes Get Fed Attention

    Reuters' Jason Lange reports that the U.S. Federal Reserve hinted on Wednesday that a surprisingly strong jobs market recovery could lead it to raise interest rates earlier than it had been anticipating.

     
  • Home Depot Argues for More Access to Mortgages

    MarketWatch staffer Ruth Mantell reports looks at why Home Depot executives have worries about housing and their part in it: borrowers' access to mortgages.

     
  • Congress Does Little or Nothing to Gain Small Biz Favor

    Washington Post staffer J.D. Harrison reports that, unhappy with the current state of affairs in Washington, most small business executives say they plan to vote for challengers this fall.

     
  • 5 Signs It's Time to Buy a Home

    When renting just isn't cutting it anymore, it's time to sign on the dotted line and buy a place of your own.

     
  • States Where It's Hardest to Find Full-Time Work

    To determine the states where it is hardest to find full-time work, 24/7 Wall St. examined the first quarter underemployment rate measured by the BLS. We also considered U-3, the conventional measure of unemployment, and U-6, the underemployment rate, from 2007 through the first quarter of 2014.

     
  • A Handful of Reasons Americans Are Unhappy

    MarketWatch staffer Quentin Fottrell explores an analysis of data from the U.S. Census and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authored by economists at Harvard University and the University of British Columbia that lays our the Top 5 reasons people living America are glum

     
  • Counting Sheep Counters

    Washington Post staffer Roberto A. Ferdman looks at data from fitness tracker Jawbone that suggests that Americans might run on sleep, but those living in the country's largest cities don't appear to run on much.

     
  • Ro-Botlr to You: 'You Rang?'

    Quartz's Roya Wolverson reports on the first day on the job for Starwood Hotels's robotic butler, which helps shuttle things like toilet paper and toothpaste to guests' rooms. "Botlr," as the bow-tied robot is called, is on trial at the Aloft Cupertino hotel in Silicon Valley (go figure).

     
  • A Shipping Container Workshop

    A Florida man turned two containers and a carport into a fantastic backyard shop.

     
  • 1Q14 Cape Coral-Fort Myers Housing Market Analysis

    The first-quarter Metrostudy data for the Cape Coral-Fort Myers housing market shows strength in new-home sales.

     
  • ClareHome Declares Standardized Home Automation

    Pepper Viner Homes will partner with Clare Controls to offer whole-home automation as a standard feature in its Stonebridge community outside Tucson, Ariz.

     
  • Scrap Mortgage Interest Deduction: Study

    The mortgage interest tax deduction is supposed to encourage homeownership among low- and middle-income Americans. But it primarily benefits higher-income taxpayers, according to a new study from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

     
  • Fears for Tiers

    Supply and demand, economics' building blocks, may be simple theoretically, but when it comes to housing they can get complicated. Specifically, supply's powerful role as a demand driver is a complex phenomenon. Here, Zillow data analyst Matthew Fix looks at supply in terms of for-sale inventory...

     
  • Paul Allen Homes Gets NGBS Honors

    Albuquerque Business First staffer Damon Scott reports that Rex Wilson, owner of Paul Allen Homes, was named a Home Innovation Partner of Excellence for 2014--one of only a handful in the entire U.S.--for embracing the National Green Building Standards.

     
  • McGuyer Breaks Ground on Tract in Houston's Memorial High School Area

    Houston Business Journal staffer Paul Takahashi reports on McGuyer Homes' plans to develop a new gated community of homes starting in the $750k-range near Memorial High School.

     
  • Home Depot Hits All-Time High as Appliances Drive Sales

    Bloomberg/ BusinessWeek's Matt Townsend reports that Home Depot Inc. climbed to an all- time high as purchases of big-ticket items like appliances helped Q2 profit top analysts' estimates and led the company to raise its annual earnings forecast.

     
  • Mortgage Approvals and the New Rules

    HousingWire's Trey Garrison wonders, is it really that hard to get a mortgage? Yes. And no. And mostly yes again. And maybe it should be. And since January 10 when the CFPB's Qualified Mortgage rule took effect, it is definitely harder.

     
  • American Public Schools' Demographic Sea Change

    Washington Post staffer Emily Badger picks up on Pew Research data that shows that public school enrollment is growing more diverse--2014 will be the first "majority-minority" enrollment year--but that doesn't mean public schools are.

     
  • The Great American Nay-cation

    MarketWatch staffer Quentin Fottrell reports on a just-released Harris Interactive survey that shows that Americans are so busy looking over their shoulders at work, they only take half of their paid time off.

     
  • Why Obama Hasn't Scored Points on Economic Gains

    Quartz staffer Matt Phillips illustrates: US wages have gone precisely nowhere over the past year. Inflation-adjusted US hourly earnings growth was 0% in July compared with the previous year, according to just released stats. This is not only an economic problem. For the Democrats, who've held the...

     
  • 2014's Best and Worst Cities for First-Time Home Buyers

    WalletHub analyst Richie Bernardo's team compared the 300 largest U.S. cities to determine the ones that are most and least attractive to first-time home buyers, using 17 key metrics, ranging from median house prices and real estate taxes to median home price appreciation and price-to-rent ratios.

     
  • Mattamy Homes Enters Tucson Market

    Mattamy Homes, the nation's 34th largest home builder moved into Tucson last week. The company's new Tucson division will be piloted by 20-year Pulte vet Josh Robinson. Here's more information from Mattamy's news release on Reuters.

     
  • Robots' Bite Out of Workers' Lunch

    Over the next decade or two, the spread of robotics and machine intelligence likely will affect millions of U.S. workers in jobs long thought to be relatively immune from tech-driven automation. Pew Research's Drew DeSilver takes a look at the jobs robots will chomp on and which they won't be able...

     
  • Small Biz Economy Turned on its Headcount

    Small business owners say the economy is still their biggest challenge, which keeps them from expanding and hiring, according to a CNN/Money-Manta survey.

     
  • Home Depot: Housing Uptick Will Buoy Second Half of 2014

    Home Depot Inc said it expected same-store sales to grow faster in the second half of the year as customers renovate homes with big-ticket purchases such as wood and laminate flooring in a recovering U.S. housing market.

     
  • July Consumer Prices Inch up 0.1%

    Consumer prices advanced in July at their slowest pace since February, which could give the Federal Reserve more flexibility to maintain policies designed to stimulate stronger economic growth (paywall).

     
  • In Select Housing Markets, Cash is Still King

    Buying a home? You still have to compete against the big money bringing all-cash. But it's getting a little easier.

     
  • Economic Confidence Stays Stable

    In the U.S., Gallup's Economic Confidence Index remained stable at -16 after reading -17 the week prior. Americans were slightly more optimistic about current economic conditions than they were the previous week.

     
  • What the Slow Recovery in Business Lending Tells the Fed

    Robert Litan: Yes, the time is coming when the Fed will have to tighten. But for business borrowers, the loan market is still not back to where things stood about eight years ago.

     
  • Single-Family Rental Pipeline Shrinks as Investors Nab 16% of Sales

    National Association of Realtors managing director for quantitative research Jed Smith dives into the June 2014 REALTORS® Confidence Index, which suggests that rising house prices may be eroding the reason investors would want to buy residential property to put it into the rental market pipeline.

     
  • The Geography of Jobs: Mapping the Recovery

    Deloitte University Press contributors Dr. Patricia Buckley and Dr. Peter Viechnicki explore how the current boom in energy production, the hangover from the housing bubble, and the long-term decline in manufacturing employment are combining to shift the employment profile of the US economy.

     
  • Fewer Workers in the U.S. Are Worried About Job Setbacks

    Gallup analyst Andrew Dugan notes that fewer Americans employed full or part-time are worried about their job security or compensation than has been true since the financial collapse of late 2008. Their concerns are still higher now than before the collapse.

     
  • Size Stabilizes

    Wall Street Journal staffer Kris Hudson reports that the two-year trend of big houses getting even bigger appears to have peaked-at least for now-as more buyers seeking modest homes enter the market. And builders are saying they're seeing the early signs of a pickup in demand from entry-level...

     
  • Off to a Flow Chart: American Movers and Shakers

    New York Times staffers Gregor Aisch, Robert Gebeloff, and Kevin Quealy have developed fascinating charts showing how Americans have moved between states for 112 years.

     
  • Phoenix Rises Out of Ashes, Settles Back in the Fog

    Wall Street Journal staffer Nick Timiraos reports that Phoenix stands as a prime example of how some of the country's hottest housing markets are struggling to pass the baton from bargain-hunting investors to traditional buyers (paywall) .

     
  • The Most and Least Expensive States for Energy Costs

    EcoBuilding Pulse's interactive heat map displays how each state ranks for total energy costs, and breaksdown average electric, natural gas, and fuel costs from WalletHub's "Most and Least Energy Expensive States" report.

     
  • Six (More) Troublesome Callbacks

    From nail pops and drywall cracks to peeling paint, here's how to avoid common construction issues.

     
  • Eleven Fall Events for Home Building Pros

    Fall is a busy time of year for the residential design and construction industry, so here's a list of conferences that might be worth your time.

     
  • A Trip to the Socket Factory

    See how sockets and ratchets are made at the SK Hand Tool plant in Sycamore, Illinois.

     
  • 1Q14 Boston Housing Market Analysis

    The first-quarter Metrostudy data for the Boston housing market shows a strong first-quarter for new-home sales.

     
  • Toll Taps Jenkins to Head Up MPC Sales to Builders

    Toll Brothers has tapped the co-founder of Newland Communities, Jim Jenkins, to oversee its new master-planned communities division, reports Paul Takahashi for the Houston Business Journal. The division will lead efforts on the land sales side of the real estate industry, developing lots and...

     
  • Housing Starts in U.S. Rise to Highest Level in Eight Months

    Bloomberg/ BusinessWeek's Lorraine Woellert reports that housing starts surged in July to the highest level in eight months, underscoring the recent pickup in builder optimism and showing more traction in the residential real estate market.

     
  • First-Time Buyers: The Tale of the Tape

    Wall Street Journal staffers Nick Timiraos and Matt Stiles report on first-time buyers, who aren't playing as big a role in the housing market as they did a few years ago (paywall). But when it comes to homes financed by conventional or government-backed loans, first-time buyers still account for a...

     
  • Wheelock, NVR Team Up on Carolinas Deal

    Wheelock Street Capital announced it bought a 316-acre tract called Jordan Pointe in the Raleigh-Durham, N.C.-area, from NVR, and will team up with its Carolinas development partner JPM South Development to market lots for 440 homes back to NV and Ryan Homes. Perspective on the deal from BUILDER's...

     
  • Fannie Mae Cites Mojo Lost Early Will Cost '14, '15 Ramp Up

    MarketWatch's Ruth Mantell reports that Fannie Mae slashed its outlook on Monday for 2014's housing market, reasoning that too much momentum was lost during the first half of the year.

     
  • The Happiest Regions In America

    Priceonomics' Alex Mayyasi posts on happiness in America, mapped in the research of Edward L. Glaeser, Joshua D. Gottlieb, and Oren Ziv for the National Bureau of Economic Research in their working paper titled "Unhappy Cities."

     
  • RealtyTrac Q2 Cash- and Investor-Purchase Report

    HousingWire's Ben Lane delves into the Q2 2014 U.S. Institutional Investor & Cash Sales Report from RealtyTrac, which quantifies the dramatic shift over the past year or so from an investor- and cash-driven market to one that is supported by individual owner-occupier demand. It's a slow healing...

     
  • Top 10 Markets for New Residential Construction

    Housing starts numbers out today surprised many observers with its strength at the highest in eight months, but Metrostudy finds it to have been in line with actual counts released earlier this month. Metrostudy chief economist Brad Hunter breaks down the New Residential Construction release from...

     
  • Lennar Lands TotalBank Tracts at a Discount

    South Florida Business Journal staffer Brian Bandell reports that Lennar Homes paid a combined $11.7 million for three home development sites in southern Miami-Dade County.

     
  • JinkoSolar Profit Surges on Shipment Momentum

    JinkoSolar's earnings surge, marking five straight profitable quarters for the Chinese solar-product maker.

     
  • Home Depot Beats the Street, Hoists its Outlook

    Home Depot Inc. on Tuesday said second-quarter net earnings were $2.05 billion, or $1.52 a share, up 14% from $1.8 billion, or $1.24 a share, in the same period a year ago. Net sales at the home-improvement products retailer rose 5.7% to $23.81 billion, from $22.52 billion in the year-earlier...