Housing starts, sales are up in my region

I’ve been hearing anecdotal evidence of an improving single-family housing market in pockets across the country, and I received another dose of good news in my backyard today. And an upswing in building is obviously good news for system installers who survived through one of the worst construction droughts in memory.

Our local county homebuilders’ association in northeast Wisconsin reported several hopeful trends that housing demand is quickly catching up with supply. The organization reported housing starts rose significantly from 2011 to 2012, as did sales of existing homes, up about 500 in 2012 to almost 2,600. At the same time, the group said listing inventory was down, with almost no spec homes priced about $175,000 at this time.

The homebuilders reported that home prices rose nationally by 8.3 percent last December, which was the fastest pace in more than six years. They said the Builder Confidence Index has risen eight straight months. They said the homebuilders that survived the economic downturn are doing “extremely well.’’

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The group did report some challenges to continued growth, among them are restrictive lending practices for development and a scarcity of quality building lots.

How is the housing market in your neighborhood, and what is the impact on your installing business? Tell us the region you work in and how the 2013 building market looks for you? Let’s start a conversation as see how things are going where it counts for installers, at the ground level.

You can leave your comments below, or send me an email at editor@onsiteinstaller.com.

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