Table of Contents 2014

Products

Other Articles

  • Sterling ComforTrack

    The flexible foam bottom track in Sterling’s new shower door technology offers improved comfort and safety.

     
  • The Internet of Things

    Nine Web-enabled devices to keep homeowners connected and in control

     

Other Articles

  • Great College Towns for Retirement

    Kiplinger's Sandra Block rounds up the top 10 towns for retirees looking to make a move. Most are in states that are tax-friendly to retirees. Most have home prices close to the national median (some far below), active restaurant scenes, and access to good health care.

     
  • From the 'Trick Question' Department ... What To Do Before You Turn 30?

    VIDEO: Life moves fast, and there's a lot to do. Try to fit these 15 things in before you turn the big 3-0. Or, better yet, try to persuade your under 30-year-old kids from trying them.

     
  • For Lennar, Multifamily and Student Housing Are Converging

    Phoenix Business Journal staffer Mike Sunnucks reports on Lennar plans for a 395-unit apartment complex east of Arizona State University in Tempe, according to city of Tempe documents. The location would "cater to" ASU students.

     
  • Horton Moves Fast for Share Leverage

    Wall Street Journal staffer Kris Hudson's focusing on the market's rough reaction Thursday to D.R. Horton's use of incentives to boost volume (paywall). Highlighted here is Wall Street investors' seeming intolerance for sound long-term strategy.

     
  • PSW Homes' Big Idea is Small and Urban

    Dallas Morning News real estate maven Steve Brown reports that Austin-based PSW Homes purchased land to build more than 150 Dallas houses in five communities.The strategy? PSW will be building smaller, more affordable homes in older Dallas neighborhoods.

     
  • Why it's Unusually Hard to Find a Newly Built Home

    Washington Post staffer Dina ElBoghdady reports that potential buyers are seeing a relatively greater supply of existing homes to new homes for sale than they would have before the market tanked.

     
  • What To Do with The Immigrant Children?

    As the number of unaccompanied children trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border has surged, the increase in apprehensions among children ages 12 and younger has been far greater than among teens, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of previously unreleased government data.

     
  • New-Home Slowdown Pressures Recovery

    Wall Street Journal staffers Eric Morath and Kris Hudson comment on the latest download of Census data on new home sales. They're ready to call it a downright housing recession with broader economic ramifications. We don't buy the headline.

     
  • How To Understand Millennials and Home Buying

    Wall Street Journal staffer Nick Timiraos questions why millennials aren't buying homes (although they are). A top White House economist weighs in (paywall).

     
  • How Tight is Mortgage Credit, Really?

    Wall Street Journal staffer Nick Timiraos looks into mortgage credit access for the you and mes of the world (paywall). He notes, It has become a common refrain: "It's too hard to get a mortgage." But is it true?

     
  • Multifamily For-Rent Demand Keeps Pressure on Pipeline

    Calculated Risk's Bill McBride takes a look at the latest National Multifamily Housing Council Survey of Market Conditions, which are rocking. For multifamily, the beat goes on.

     
  • Consumers Spending a Concern in Forward Economic Look

    Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta economists Dave Altig and Pat Higgins look at a four-part data divining rod in hopes of understanding the timing and trajectory of the gross domestic product figure. Consumer spending may be the wild card.

     
  • Should Congress Tell the Fed What to Do?

    And wouldn't that be nothing, like they do in Congress? Economist View blog meister Mark Thoma queries, What if the U.S. Federal Reserve Board had to implement monetary policy according to a specific rule that would require specific policy actions depending on the circumstances?

     
  • In Through the Poor Door

    A separate entrance for cheaper units--hardly unheard of in Manhattan real estate--is in part a consequence of the very inclusionary policies that New York is trying to enforce.

     
  • Zillow in Advanced Talks to Buy Rival Trulia

    Zillow is in advanced talks to buy rival online real-estate information service Trulia, according to people familiar with the matter, in a deal that could give their fast-growing websites more power.

     
  • Mortgage Rates Hold Steady

    Mortgage rates are lower than they were a year ago, having dipped recently after rising at the end of 2013.

     
  • Factory Activity Makes Progress

    The U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in July, though the pace of expansion eased as new orders and employment also grew at slower paces, an industry report showed on Thursday.

     
  • Jobless Claims Plummet as Economy Gains

    The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in nearly 8-1/2 years last week, suggesting the labor market recovery was gaining traction.

     
  • Here's An Awesome Map Of All The States Ranked By Their State Pride

    Are you loud and proud about where you call home? Find out how your home ranked in state pride.

     
  • The One and Only Wrinkle Risk Rankings

    Sperling's BestPlaces, partnering with RoC® Skincare, unveils the RoC® Skincare Wrinkle Ranking Study, outlines the 50 most wrinkle-prone regions in the United States and identifies the underlying factors that may cause skin to age. Why? Because it's the last Friday in July, and because we're so...

     
  • America's Snobbiest Small Cities

    Movoto's Laura Allen has some fun heat-mapping "snooty cities," places where people are only content with the finer things in life.

     
  • Without Chinese Home Buyers, Markets Would be Hurting

    CNN/Money's Les Christie reports that Chinese buyers are now the biggest international players in the U.S. housing market and some states are seeing billions of dollars in real estate deals as a result.

     
  • Remodelers' Confidence Rebounds

    National Association of Home Builders economist Paul Emrath comments on NAHB's Remodeling Market Index (RMI), which rose three points to 56 in the second quarter of 2014; reclaiming the territory it had lost during what was likely a weather-related dip in the fist three months of the year.

     
  • A Porch By Any Other Name is Still a Porch

    Wall Street Journal staffer Amy Gamerman reports that, after decades in decline, the porch is making a comeback as an outdoor room for dining, lounging and connecting with neighbors (paywall). Just don't call it a deck.

     
  • Paging, Mr. Gadget Inspector

    New York Times staffer Jenna Wortham reports that the old gadgets are piling up. She asks, is there a way to deal with the formerly shiny new things being dumped in the back of closets?

     
  • 1Q14 St. Louis Housing Market Analysis

    Sales and average household income for buyers are both down in St. Louis. The first-quarter data from Metrostudy for the St. Louis housing market shows sales have slowed significantly in 2014. Despite the drop in closings overall, price appreciation in the market is still picking up pace hindering...

     
  • Uber-High-End Workbench

    Anything you build on this bench is guaranteed to be a piece of garbage-compared to the bench itself.

     
  • 1Q14 North Port Housing Market Analysis

    The first-quarter Metrostudy data for the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton housing market shows slight cooling in the beginning of 2014, but overall stable conditions and growth in new-home demand.

     
  • Orders, Pricing Fuel Solid Q2 for Pulte

    PulteGroup reports second quarter 2014 financial results. Price-power factored into Pulte's margin growth, but painstakingly developed disciplines have also kicked into play as Pulte realized orders-per-community per month increases year-on-year and it has begun to step up community count growth as...

     
  • FourPlans: Outstanding New Homes Under 2,500 Sq. Ft.

    Here’s the best from the newest crop of not-too-big house plans. Look for head-turning exteriors, spacious kitchens, and thoughtful amenities.

     
  • Stellar Horton Q2 Tripped Up in Chi-Town

    MarketWatch's Anna Prior reports that D.R. Horton Inc. said its fiscal third-quarter profit fell despite strong home-building revenue and an increase in new sales orders, as the home builder recorded impairment charges tied to assets in the Chicago area.

     
  • Raleigh Tops Forbes' Best Places For Business And Careers in 2014

     
  • 9 Ways to Improve a Credit Score

    Building good credit is more like running a marathon than a short all-out sprint. If your prospect's credit score is less than stellar, there are steps to take.

     
  • Mortgage Apps Are Up

    he Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications climbed 4.1% last week, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, rose 0.3%.

     
  • Gasoline Pushes Consumer Prices Higher in June

    According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) press release, consumer prices increased in June 0.3% on a seasonally adjusted month-over-month basis. The NAHB's Josh Miller reports, also noting that prices on expenditures made by urban consumers increased 2.1% before seasonal adjustment.

     
  • Consumer Caution on Spending

    Most Americans are using cost-saving measures to purchase items this summer. A majority have recently bought generic goods and gone online to find the best deal, while fewer have gone shopping for fun or made major purchases.

     
  • What's a Healthy House?

     
  • Is A Gap In Small-Business Credit Holding Back The American Economy?

    Karen Mills, former head of the US Small Business Administration, analyzes the current state of availability of bank capital for small business.

     
  • Architecture Billings Index Climbs in June

     
  • Karen Lantz's (Mostly) All-American House

    Architect's Karrie Jacobs reports that Houston architect Karen Lantz wanted to design her house using only U.S.-manufactured products. Minus the solar panels (and a few other things), her project is a blueprint for local sourcing.

     
  • It's Consolidation Time in Single-family Rentals

    Bloomberg/ BusinessWeek's Heather Perlberg and John Gittelsohn report on performance dynamics and buy-or-hold decision-making in the world of single-family rentals. It's "grow or go" time.

     
  • Wages Rise, Skilled Workers Now Easier to Find

    It seems at first glance that firms should be finding it harder, not easier, to attract skilled workers. The Fiscal Times reports.

     
  • Why Price Appreciation Varies by Region

    Brent Nyitray, CFA, MBA, shows how home price appreciation has affected builders across the US, with the Mountain and Pacific states outperforming the rest of the country in the last two years. See the full story on Market Realist.

     
  • J.P. Morgan Cuts Back on FHA Loans

    Wall Street Journal staffer Nick Timiraos reports that J.P. Morgan Chase has sharply pulled back from a popular mortgage-lending program this year, a course its chief executive, James Dimon, blamed on the Obama administration's zeal for litigation (paywall).

     
  • Viva La Vida Condo!

    Wall Street Journal staffers Robbie Whelan and Arian Campo-Flores report that cash-paying buyers from abroad are moving to snap up what remains of the city's dwindling supply of prime unbuilt sites, driving values of undeveloped plots to record levels (paywall).

     
  • It's All About the Hunt

    Wired's Issie Lapowsky takes a look at investors pouring millions into Urban Compass, a New York City-based startup that offers an antidote to Craigslist chaos in finding places to rent or buy.

     
  • Where Millionaires Live in America

    Kiplinger's Stacy Rapacon teams up with research firm Phoenix Marketing International, which identifies where U.S. millionaires live in an annual survey of wealthy residents in 942 urban areas.

     
  • The Immigration Factor

    Recently, Brookings Senior Fellow Audrey Singer gave a presentation on "U.S. Immigration Demographics and Immigrant Integration" at the National White House Convening on Immigrant and Refugee Integration.

     
  • Painful Cost Cutting and the Household Budget

    Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko queries consumers and draws conclusions about what would happen among various economic tiers of household types if financial hardship strikes and they need to choose from a menu of cost-cutting options.

     
  • Hidden Connection Collection

     
  • Conservation Easement Legislation Moves Forward

    The House of Representatives has passed legislation to permanently provide a tax deduction to landowners who place their assets in protected conservation easements.

     
  • Early Arrivals

    Wall Street Journal staffer Miriam Jordan reports that leaders of several U.S. cities and at least one state have offered to take in some of the thousands of unaccompanied minors from Central America who have swarmed the southern border in recent months (paywall).

     
  • Feds Charge 9 Foreclosure Firms with Deception

    HousingWire's Brena Swanson reports that the CFPB, FTC and 15 states are filing a handful of lawsuits against companies and individuals that collected more than $25 million in illegal advance fees with false promises to prevent foreclosures.

     
  • Top 10 States for New Residential Sales

    New home sales dropped significantly in June; a decline of 11% since the beginning of the year. Metrostudy chief economist Brad Hunter comments on the New Residential Sales data release today from Census and market strength in the top 10 states for new home sales in 2014, despite overall low...

     
  • Washington, D.C.'s First Shipping Container Housing Project

     
  • How to Answer a Customer Who Wants to Buy the Products for Your Job

    Explain-in detail-the hidden costs and headaches of supply and delivery.

     
  • Incredible Self-Propelled Dumpster

    The Equipter is a self-propelled dumpster that can be towed to the jobsite and then driven under its own power (it has a gasoline engine) to wherever it needs to be.

     
  • Payne to begin Pevely Farms project

    St. Louis-based Payne Family Homes, the number three builder in the market with 5.4 percent market share, continues growing. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

     
  • Running the Region: Who Is the Average Home Buyer in Each Corner of the U.S.?

    This month, the NAHB Housing Market Index went above 50 for the first time since January. Who is the average home buyer facilitating positive change in builder confidence for 2014? Which builder is leading the U.S. in home sales this year? Here's a look at who is running the show in each region.

     
  • Houston's Bonterra at Woodforest Goes Live in Houston

     
  • There Goes the 'Agrihood:' Willowsford

    Smithsonian contributor Shaylyn Esposito reports that development Supported Agriculture is a growing trend in the housing world, and one subdivision in Loudoun County, Va., Willowsford, is taking it mainstream.

     
  • Pocket Listings Crop Up in Tight Market

    CNBC's Diana Olick reports that so-called pocket listings are on the rise and may be masking how much housing inventory is actually for sale.

     
  • Millennials Start to Grow Up and Act Like Adults

    Wall Street Journal staffer Neil Shah reports that Millennials get flack for postponing marriage, living with parents and shying away from homeownership. But maybe they're just responding rationally to their local housing markets (paywall).

     
  • Less Distress As Owner-Occupiers Replace Investors

    Wall Street Journal staffer Nick Timiraos shows how the U.S. housing market appears to be finding its footing after a sharp rise in mortgage rates last summer, on top of some big price gains, deflated sales (paywall).

     
  • Outlook Brightens for 2014 'Back Half'

    The Freddie Mac July Economic and Housing Market Outlook fesses up to a lousy first-half showing for many benchmarks, but notes that momentum, fueled mainly by multifamily for-rent exuberance, is picking up nicely heading toward the end of the year and into next.

     
  • Builders, Lenders Try New Sales Tactics

    Chicago Tribune real estate columnist Mary Ellen Podmolik reports that the housing market's recovery has lost some of its frenzy but dynamics still at work in the market are creating opportunities for companies eager to capture buyers' attention

     
  • Vets Buoy Housing Demand in More Markets

    Bloomberg/ BusinessWeek's Prashant Gopal and Jody Shenn report that the recovery is getting a boost from military buyers using VA mortgages as the U.S. draws down troops after more than a decade of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

     
  • The Rent's Too Much

    Bloomberg/ BusinessWeek staffer Karen Weise reports on the growing population of people who pay way over 30% of their income on housing ... and so it goes.

     
  • Bright Lights, Big Business

    Wall Street Journal staffer J.S. Marcus reports that Swedish lighting maker Magnus Wästberg pushes aside tradition to create lamps that offer focus and flexibility (paywall).

     
  • As Housing Shows Mojo, Inflation's in the Wings

    Reuters Washington correspondent Lucia Mutikani reports that U.S. home resales hit an eight month-high in June, suggesting the housing market was gradually regaining momentum and would help the economy to stay on a higher growth path this year.

     
  • Jobs Future's So Bright, We Have to Wear Shades

    More than half of consumers globally expect job prospects to be good to excellent in the year ahead, a survey showed on Tuesday. That helped push global consumer confidence up in the second quarter to its highest since the first quarter of 2007.

     
  • Habitat Homes in on Orlando

    Habitat for Humanity of Greater Orlando started work on its first single-family subdivision, which will be constructed by both home builders in addition to homebuyers.

     
  • Homeowner Nets $16 Million in Mortgage Case

    It started out as a simple loan modification for a troubled homeowner. It turned into a $16.2 million jury verdict against a nationwide loan-servicing company.

     
  • Economic Confidence Ticks Up

    Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index has made up the losses from the prior week, and now stands at -15. Americans' views of current and future economic conditions have ticked upward after several weeks with no improvement.

     
  • 30-Year Rates Slide Below 4%

    Mortgage rates for 30-year fixed mortgages fell this week, with the current rate borrowers were quoted on Zillow Mortgages at 3.97%, down from 4.05%.

     
  • Solar Disruption

    Perovskite - have you heard of it? It's a material that is getting a lot of buzz in the world of solar research. Now a U.K. solar startup plans to bring what it believes is a game-changing technology to make perovskite solar cells to the market.

     
  • Nonbank Mortgage Lenders Livid Over FHFA Watchdog Report

    National Mortgage News staffer Kate Berry looks at independent mortgage lenders who are concerned that regulators will use a new report from a government watchdog as an excuse to raise minimum net worth requirements for smaller lenders.

     
  • Where the Wealthy Move From NYC

    CityLab's Sam Sturgis looks at data from New York City's Independent Budget Office that show that the Big Apple's richest people don't stray far when they move from the city. Which is good for companies like Toll Brothers.

     
  • Millennials Mentoring Executives: It's a Brave New World

    Forbes contributor Cliff Oxford writes about GenY turning the tables and teaching the grey hairs a thing or two about business.

     
  • Failure To Launch: An Immigration Story

    CNN/Money staffer Jennifer Liberto reports on the case of a Maryland-based door manufacturer looking to expand and hire 15 new employees ... caught in the crossfire of immigration reform debate.

     
  • A Wobbly Toddler?

    Bloomberg View editors take a whack at a feisty four year-old, Dodd-Frank, which apparently is not too young to lambaste.

     
  • The 5 Worst States for a Child's Well-Being

    Time's Sam Frizell reports on an Annie E. Casey study that shows child poverty rates are rising, but some states are better than others when it comes to kids' overall well-being. Here's rankings of the top and the bottom five states.

     
  • Top 10 Pet-Friendly Rental Markets

    For folks with furry friends, renting is a tough assignment. What city is tops for a pet-friendly rental? We list the Top 10 cities for renting with pets.

     
  • 1Q14 San Francisco Housing Market Analysis

    The first-quarter Metrostudy data for the San Francisco housing market indicates the Bay Area is suffering from lack of affordable homes coupled with a decrease in both new and existing home sales.

     
  • An Energy-Efficient Glass Box? Urban Green Says It's Possible

    The USGBC's New York affiliate issues a report and call-to-action for specifying energy-efficient glass enclosures.

     
  • Make a Weighty Statement With NativeStone Sinks

    These modified concrete sinks add an environmentally friendly elegance to kitchens and baths

     
  • Hacking a Ridgid Miter Saw

    The Amish carpenter who converted this machine from electric to gas may not consider it a hack. But it is.

     
  • Why Aren't New Homes Selling?

    Because they cost too much.

     
  • Sales Team Compensation: Are You Overpaying For Under Production?

    Don’t pay salespeople for performance that doesn’t deliver stellar results, says BUILDER blogger Myers Barnes.

     
  • How the Back Half of 2014 Could Work for Housing

    While the Fed says the housing market has "lost traction," Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson expects the market in urban areas to regain its footing in the second half of 2014. She's got four data points that support her theory that housing momentum can map its way around anemic economic...

     
  • Ideo's Digital Scoreboard Reveals How LEED Buildings Really Behave

    The LEED Dynamic Plaque displays real-time measurements of how a building is using its resources.

     
  • Ex Beazer Exec Gets Retrial ... Guilty Again

    The former executive is convicted of charges ranging from securities fraud to attempting to block federal investigation into Beazer mortgage practices that led to the foreclosure of hundreds of Charlotte homes.

     
  • More Firms Are Handing Out Pay Raises, NABE Survey Finds

    Wall Street Journal staffer Ben Leubsdorf taps into a National Association for Business Economists study that shows the share of U.S. firms that report giving pay raises has nearly tripled since last fall, though official data haven't shown any broad acceleration in wage growth.

     
  • Worldwide Work Ethic

    Where in the world do workers toil the most each year? The United States is high on the list, but a few other countries work even harder.

     
  • One From the 'Eyes Open' Department

    Finding a place to live in your golden years is more complicated than you may think. MarketWatch's "10 Things Retirement Communities Won't Tell You."

     
  • Wage Pressures Mean One Thing

    The share of U.S. companies raising wages more than doubled in the three months to July from a year ago, a survey showed on Monday, suggesting a faster pace of wage growth. Inflation days near.

     
  • NVR Drives Order Growth Via More Stores

    Here's the low-down on NVR's second quarter, ended June 30, financials, which beat the Street on earnings and order growth. A 9% community count bump fueled higher orders vs. June 13, although orders per neighborhood per month were off slightly. Analysts angst over NVR's valuation vs. its peer...

     
  • Student Debt: Is College Worth the Burden?

    Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland research economists Daniel Carroll and Amy Higgins do some heavy-duty math to conclude that by going to college, one is likely to end up in a household that earns a considerable wage income premium throughout its working life but which also has a sizeable amount of...