fbpx

Blog

Business conditions stayed weak through 2009’s 3rd quarter for housing design architects, yet specific segments at the market’s lower end look ready for a 2010 recovery, according to fresh numbers from the AIA.

Since the billings for architects are usually a good prediction of future activity in construction, this could be good news for homebuilders.

Design work for affordable homes for first-time buyers jumped from -64 percent in the third quarter of 2008 to -2 percent in a year over year comparison, according to architects responding to the latest AIA Quarterly Design Trends survey. (Percentages indicate the number of respondents reporting sector ‚improving‚ minus the number reporting ‚ aweakening.‚)

The feeling towards the move-up market had an improved gain that traveled from -57 percent down to -29 percent within the same time frame.

Each market segment has been boosted through decreasing home costs and good mortgage rates. AIA cheif economist Kermit Baker noted the kick-start the affordable market received from such aid as the federal tax credit for those purchasing a home for the first time.

The third quarter of 2009 showed strong gains in remodeling activity, with 27 percent of architects reporting an increased demand for both renovations and additions, up from 13 percent in the year prior. Kitchen as well as bathroom remodeling jobs increased by a very large percentage, from approximately eight percent during 2008 to approximately twenty six percent during 2009, an increase of more than three times the percent for one year.

Additional market segments have not been as fortunate. The townhouse/condo market remained stagnant, with a score of -43 percent in 2009 vs. -49 percent in 2009. Interest in custom/luxury homes and second vacation homes remained extremely low, at -48 percent and -70 percent, respectively.

Through the third quarter of 2009, the AIA‚Äôs residential billings index rose sharply from a score of 20 in the fourth quarter of 2008 to 38 in the second quarter of 2009, but then remained flat at 38 overall. Individual scores not above 50 are indicative of negative activity, however “less bad” categories are those that show scores that are ten or above.

Moving from a score of 35 in the first quarter of 2009 to 47 in the second quarter, new project inquiries at architecture firms remained similarly meager last year, but inched closer to the halfway mark.

Geographically speaking, reports from architects suggest that recovery will be concentrated most heavily in urbanized areas. Some 69 of respondents in the latest survey indicated a rise in demand for infill development, up from 63 percent in 2008.

The source of this article is Builder Online.

According to BuilderOnline.com, Washington D.C. made the top ten healthiest housing markets for 2009. Washington D.C. actually ranked number 6.

Here is what was written about the Washington DC housing market:

Washington D.C. showed signs last summer that it might be emerging from the downturn, then it turned south again. Even so, the area produces a ton of jobs—an estimated 35,000 in the last year—that fuel a vibrant housing market, the 11th largest in the country. Many of the jobs stem from contracts with the federal government. Washington D.C. remains a relatively unaffordable place to live, with a median home price of $332,700 in the third quarter of last year.

One prime reason the of the ranking is that the population in Washington DC area has grown around one percent each year for the past five years.

The home building patterns have changed as well. Many families moving to the area are demanding to be inside or immediately outside the capital beltway because the traffic is one in the nation’s worst. I live inside the beltway and I can get any where I need to go — from Washington D.C.  and the Virginia and the Maryland suburbs in 20 to 30 minutes. And if I travel during off-rush house times, it may be 10 to 15 minutes.

We are even working with new home building clients that are moving down to inside the beltway from Gaithersburg, Md.,  Culpepper, Va.,  and Frederick, Md.

The BuilderOnline section is courtesy of: Hanley Wood Market Intelligence.

Anyone read the article in the Washington Post about Case Design Build?
I think they are wrong about the housing market in the DC area.

May I suggest an article idea?

We are home builders and architects and we have more business than we have had in two years.

There are many owners that realize that rates are low and construction costs are flat, and that real estate is a long term investment, not something that bounces daily like the stock market.

We are selectively pursuing many home building opportunities in this market place. This is a great time to be building as a builder because we are taking advantage of the cost of construction to maintain our profit margins and pass on the greatest value to clients since the late 1980’s and the early 1990’s (the last recession). This is a great time to build homes.

Washington DC real estate and home real estate in particular, is the best real estate on earth.

Tell me what you think?