Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

MAR 2018

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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March 2018 23 Inventory Issues Keep New and Existing Homes Sales Down but Residential Construction Begins Year Well Architecture Billings Index Is Highest in Over a Decade New and exist- ing home sales were lower for the second month in a row; falling 7.8% and 3.2% respec - tively in January. In existing home transactions, single-family sales were the big loser with a 3.8% drop. Inventory constraints continued to beleaguer both sectors but there are indications for optimism. Design Firms saw a strong start to business in the new year as the Architecture Building Index recorded its best January score since 2007. The 54.7 mark was also almost two points above the previous month (any score above 50 indicates an increase in business month-to-month). New projects inquires hit 61.1. Even though the supply of existing home sales are 9.5% lower than this time a year ago, that amount actually grew 4.1% from last month. And for new homes, the available inventory hit their highest mark since 2014. This sets the stage for an active spring selling season according to the Wells Fargo Economics Group, though rising mortgage rates may challenge that. More evidence of a growing inventory of homes is found in the 7% month-to- month gain in the value of residential starts. In that period, multifamily housing showed renewed strength by posting a 39% jump. All of this is in spite of a 2% slip in overall construction starts, pushed down by a soft public works sector that fell 18%. Nonresidential starts registered a small gain of 1%. I n f o r m a t i o n R e q u e s t # 4 4 4

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