Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

OCT 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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Page 31 of 103

32 LCDBM The 3.5% rise in new home sales month-to-month in the latest report boost - ed the year to date totals 6.9%. Inven- tories had a modest rise of 1.6%; the fifth consecutive monthly gain. In spite of this, the Wells Fargo Securities Economics Group blamed higher mortgage rates for not getting even better news but "solid job and income growth should keep sales trending higher." Sales, profit margins and staffing levels remain well above 50 in the just released report from The Associated Builders and Contractors "signaling ongoing expansion in construc - tion activity." Consumer confidence hit its highest level since 2000 according to the Wells Fargo Securities Economics Group, and builder confidence in the new single-family home sector remained strong though unchanged with a 67 reading in the latest index from the National Association of Home Builders. The most recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau showed that resi - dential building permits were down 5.5% year-over-year, but housing starts were up 9.4% year-over-year and completions gained 11.2% over the same reporting period last year. In the second quarter of this year, the Construc - tion Backlog from the Associated Builders and Contractors was at 9.9 months, a record number for that reporting period, a 12.2% gain over the first quarter, and a 14% improvement from Q2 2017. The com - mercial/industrial sector was even higher at 10.11 months. Not surprisingly, prices for goods and services used in the construction industry are higher today than this time last year. The Associated General Contractors of America put that 12-month gain at 6.2%, noting that "the cost increases come as many construction firms are al - ready grappling with the impacts of labor shortages and the prospect of further tariffs on key materials." New Home Sales and Inventories Improve Confidence Remains High on Many Fronts Home Construction Numbers Up and Down Construction Backlog Hits Record High Construction Input Costs Up Year-to-Date Economy Tidbits I n f o r m a t i o n R e q u e s t # 4 8 1

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