Demand Shows Signs of Resilience

8 Nov

by  | November 7, 2013

Home tours and offers slowed during shutdown but surged after reopening with offers up 8 percent compared to a 4 percent drop last year

Each month, Redfin captures homebuyer demand by tracking the number of home tours requested and offers made by its customers across the country. Overall, Redfin’s demand data in October suggests that the U.S. government shutdown did impact buyer behavior, but only temporarily. The drop in demand during the shutdown had us worried, but it turns out that buyers quickly resumed their house hunt immediately after. All-in-all, home-buyer demand in October was actually more robust than expected, especially considering the normal seasonal decline.

September 29 – November 2
vs. Five Weeks Prior
2012 2013
Redfin Customers Requesting Tours -3.0% 0.1%
Redfin Customers Making Offers -3.8% 7.8%

Here’s what we saw across the 22 markets that Redfin serves:

  • Redfin customers scheduling home tours increased 0.1% month over month in October 2013, compared to a drop of 3% during the same period in 2012.
  • Offers signed by Redfin customers were up 7.8% month over month in October 2013, in stark contrast to the 3.8% drop during the same period last year.
  • During the government shutdown, tours and offers both declined, with tours down 2.8% and offers down 8.4% in the two-week period starting on October 6. Both metrics rebounded the week after the government reopened, rising 3.4% and 2.4%, respectively.

Shifting market conditions for buyers probably are helping to sustain late-season demand. As we said last month, competition is dropping steadily, which is helping to boost buyers’ negotiating power. Redfin Seattle agent Kathryn Rion has seen a rise in buyers who want to capitalize on this change. “Many buyers want to find a home before year-end because they are worried that competition will pick up again in the spring,” according to Kathryn. Moreover, mortgage rates have fallen steadily since mid-September, which may be easing affordability concerns.

Demand is unlikely to remain steady in November, however. As Thanksgiving approaches, demand will drop off as buyers shift their focus toward holiday preparations.

October 2013 Tour Requesters

October 2013 Offer Signers




14 May

In conjunction with my new partnership with Robert Bragg of Robert Bragg Mechanical, Inc., in Chelsea Custom Builders, LLC, new blog posts will be at chelseacustombuilders.wordpress.  Please continue to follow.

I thank all of my loyal readers and look forward to continuing to spread the industry news and discussions.

Where Growth Is Headed: ATLANTA!

29 Nov


November 26, 2012

By Robbie Whelan

A new projection of household formation growth by geographic region, by market research firm Pitney Bowes Software PBI +2.00%, lays out which metro areas saw the most growth over the first decade of the 21st century, and which metro areas are projected to see the most growth over the next five years. (Pitney Bowes sells its projections and other data to retailers and other businesses looking to make strategic growth decisions.)  

What they found is that while most of the top 20 places expected to grow fastest in the next five years are the same ones that grew the most last decade. But some of them reshuffled by a few places in the rankings, and there are a few surprises on the list.

Houston and Atlanta lead the list from both 2000 to 2010 and are expected to top it again for 2012 to 2017.  Other areas set to continue seeing big gains are Dallas, Washington, Phoenix, Riverside-San Bernardino, Austin, Orlando, San Antonio and Charlotte. Just six of the top 50 projected growth markets are in the Northeast, the region that showed the weakest construction growth in the latest Census figures, while 16 of them are in the West, the region that has seen the most single-family construction growth.

Tony Callahan, Former SVP of Purchasing for Beazer Homes, Joins CB/USA-Atlanta

21 Sep


Tony Callahan

Tony Callahan, former SVP and Chief Procurement Officer of Beazer Homes has recognized the benefits of adding his building company to the rolls of CB/USA-Atlanta.  Prior to his time at Beazer, Tony was the Corporate Purchasing Manager for NVR.  

Tony’s extensive knowledge of purchasing for large builders has allowed CB/USA to move into the same mode of purchasing.  For 2011, CB/USA’s member’s aggregate revenues, would make us the 11th largest builder in the country.

The first national purchasing contract is with Certainteed.  We were able to verify the manufacturers that as a group, CB/USA buys more fiber cement siding than any of the national builders.

Through dedicated work on the part of CB/USA’s employees and builder members of the national phase committees, led by Tony, a second national contract was just announced on Monday for HVAC.  This is to be followed in a couple of weeks with the announcement of the winner of the Engineered Wood Products phase and, finally, by year end with the paint manufacturer.

At CB/USA-Atlanta, we are particularly proud to have Tony as a member of our local organization.  He will surely add value and insight for us, independent and small builders.


Home Prices Climb as Supply Dwindles

8 Aug

That’s the headline of today’s (8/8/2012) Wall Street Journal.  Strong demand for bargain-priced foreclosures is also attributed for the rising prices, according to the article’s author, Nick Timiraos.

Home prices rose by their largest percentage in at least seven yearsduring the second quarter, propelled by low

Closings have outpaced starts for many years leaving Atlanta with a shortage of new homes

inventories of properties for sale and high demand for bargain-priced foreclosures, according to two reports Tuesday.

“Prices rose by 2.5% in June from a year ago, and by 6% from the previous quarter, said CoreLogic Inc., a Santa Ana, Calif., data firm. The quarterly jump was the largest since 2005.

“Separately, Freddie Mac, which uses a different methodology, said home prices during the second quarter jumped by 4.8% from the previous quarter. That was the largest jump since 2004.”

For those buyers still on the fence, prices have no where to go, but up!

Low prices and record low mortgage rates make this time the best opportunity to get into  your dream home.  Many neighborhoods in Atlanta are starting to see bidding wars because of the dearth of inventory.  Don’t miss your chance.

US Employers Post the Most Jobs in 4 Years

7 Aug

August 7, 2012 12:19 PM ET


WASHINGTON (AP) –  U.S. employers posted the most job openings in four years in June, a positive sign that hiring may pick up.

The Labor Department said Tuesday job openings rose to a seasonally adjusted 3.8 million in June, up from 3.7 million in May.  That’s the most since July 2008.  Layoffs fell.

The data follow Friday‘s report that said employers in July added the most jobs in five months.  A rise in openings could signal better hiring in the coming months.  It typically takes one to three months to fill a job.

Even with the increase, hiring is competitive.  There were 12.7 million unemployed people in June, or an average of 3.4 unemployed people for each job.

In June, manufacturing, education and health care, and hotels and restaurants all posted more openings. Retailers and state, local and federal government agencies cut available jobs.

Overall, companies hired nearly 4.4 million people in June, down from 4.5 million in May, the JOLTS report showed. At the same time, nearly 4.3 million people were laid off, quit or left jobs for other reasons, such as retirement.

The difference between those two figures is similar to the net job gain that the Labor Department includes in the employment report each month.

“Gulch” Project on Fast Track

5 Aug

Atlanta economic development suffered a set back with the loss of T-SPLOST, but received some good news with the approval from the feds to fast track the approval process of a multimodal passenger terminal in the area between the CNN Center complex and the Five Points MARTA station.  

An overview of “the Gulch” looking west from Forsyth Street toward Philips Arena and the Georgia Dome. Officials hope to build a transportation hub in the area.

The 120 acre site lies in a dilapidated section within the heart of downtown Atlanta.  Vacant lots, railroad ties and parking spaces make up much of the present area creating an eye-sore at the center of our core.

A group of developers this month unveiled three conceptual drawings for the hub that would include new roads and parks radiating from a massive terminal with levels for bus stops, trains and streetcars, transforming the area into a “mini-city.”

Mayor Reed is quoted as saying this area “will be one of the most beautiful places in the city of Atlanta.”  And U.S. Rep. John Lewis claims “This will be a facility that links our state and our citizens even closer, creates hundreds, if not thousands of jobs, and transforms a forgotten piece of land into a vibrant city center.”

It is believed this project could create as many as 15,000 by 2040.

A mere 10 minutes from this site, located in Hapeville, is Jacoby Development’s Aerotropolis, soon to be home to Porsche’s new North American Headquarters and a 200,000 square foot Volkswagen office building.  With the addition of hotels, retail and restaurants on the remaining portion, the Aerotropolis is expected to employ 10,000 new jobs.

Hapeville appears to be the next “hot spot” in Atlanta.