Article : Improving Housing Sector Offers Opportunities

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Improving Housing Sector Offers Opportunities

Single-family housing starts in 2011 were up 11.6% from 2010, according to the Census Bureau.

According to the NAHB, 2011 ended on a positive note with economic activity continuing to expand at a moderate rate and the housing sector finally gaining some positive momentum. By targeting those sectors with the most growth, landscape contractors and maintenance professionals can increase their chances of securing more work.

''We're looking for some solid growth in 2012 and more momentum in 2013,'' said Bob Denk, NAHB economist. ''It started to pick up in 2011, but last year things were up and down. Things should start to solidify this year.''

According to Jed Smith, a National Association of Realtors economist: ''We foresee existing home sales market increase five percent in 2012, if things keep going the way they're going.'' But simultaneously Smith warns not to expect drastic improvements immediately. ''We've been through a massive de-leveraging of the economy. Household worth lost $14 trillion during the Great Recession. Because of the major financial problems we've encountered, it's going to take two to three times longer (than normal) to recover from this recession.''

Pent-Up Housing Demand

NAHB research estimated that 2.1 million younger workers are still living with their parents or have doubled up with roommates due to an uncertain economy.

As the economy and the job market hopefully improve in 2012, these potential households will be unlocked. This will lead to increased demand for rental housing and eventually these workers will emerge as prospective homebuyers.

Multifamily housing starts (5 or more units) hit a historical low in 2009, (based on data recorded since 1964), but have trended upwards the past two years to reach 167,400. (The all-time high was 906,200 in 1972.) However, the 2 to 4-unit category continued its five-year downward trend, hitting an all-time low last year.

Taking Advantage of Home Sales Growth

Recent homebuyers are potentially more receptive to changing or upgrading their landscapes, when compared to established homeowners. By searching public records for recent home sales, contractors can target these clients specifically. There are many resources to obtain this data, including real estate websites; one example:

Some real estate websites even feature aerial photos of recently sold properties, offering contractors a bird's eye view of a home's current landscape.

Encouraging Numbers

Nationwide, single-family home sales increased 4.5 percent from 2010 to 2011. Condominium and co-op sales rose 6.8 percent. The following regions saw sales increases.

  • Northeast: 9.8 percent
  • Midwest: 4.3 percent
  • West: 3.6 percent
  • South: 2.4 percent

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June 28, 2016, 10:00 pm EST

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