Lennar Rises as Strong New Home Orders Signal Improving Market

August 13, 2019
Prashant Gopal - Bloomberg

Lennar Corp., the first big U.S. homebuilder out of the gate this earnings cycle, reported quarterly orders that beat expectations. a sign that low mortgage rates are fueling demand. The shares rose.

In the three months through May, home-purchase contracts rose 1% from a year earlier to 14,518 homes, the Miami-based company said in a statement Tuesday.


U.S. Existing Home Sales Top Estimates as All Four Regions Gain

August 6, 2019
Katia Dmitrieva - Bloomberg

Sales of previously owned U.S. homes rebounded in May to a three-month high as all regions gained amid lower interest rates and a labor market that remains strong.

Contract closings rose to 5.34 million annual rate, topping projections and climbing 2.5% from April’s upwardly revised pace, the National Association of Realtors said Friday. The median sales price rose 4.8% from a year earlier to $277,700.


U.S. Housing Starts Stabilize as Building Permits Edge Up

July 30, 2019
Reade Pickert - Bloomberg

U.S. new-home construction fell in May after an April reading that was stronger than initially reported, signaling stabilization in the market amid lower borrowing costs.

Residential starts dropped 0.9% to a 1.27 million annualized rate after a revised 1.28 million pace in the prior month, according to government figures released Tuesday that compared with a 1.24 million estimate in Bloomberg’s survey. Permits, a proxy for future construction, increased 0.3% to a 1.29 million rate that was about in line with estimates.


A Reminder to Renew Your Public Works Registration by June 30, 2019

July 22, 2019
Garret Murai - California Construction Law Blog

A friendly reminder from the folks at the CSLB . . .

June 24, 2019 CSLB #19-05
Public Works Contractors: Renew Your Registration Online by End of This Month

Contractors can now register for one, two, or three fiscal years
The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) and the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) are informing public works contractors that their registration will expire on June 30. The public works contractor registration application was recently updated to process applications within one business day when paid by credit card, and provide the applicant with a credit card receipt.

Mr. Murai may be contacted at gmurai@wendel.com


Samsung Bets It Can Sell Smart-Home Tech by Building the Homes

July 15, 2019
Sam Kim & Kyunghee Park - Bloomberg

For years, Samsung has pitched customers internet-connected TVs, refrigerators, and other cornerstones of the home re-imagined for the data-overload era. Now the South Korean engineering-to-gadgets conglomerate is trying to go a step further: making the home itself.

Inside an airy, lavish model house in Seoul, Samsung’s virtual assistant, Bixby, can show visitors what’s inside the kitchen fridge while Amazon’s Alexa assistant controls the living-room lighting and A/C, and a speaker developed by Naver Corp. recommends music and TV shows. Samsung software overlays the in-house and competing products to create a unified control system, and so the company might someday be able to analyze the data created to refine its so-called internet of things.


This House Is Built to Stare Down a Hurricane

July 9, 2019
Jim Efstathiou Jr & Prashant Gopal - Bloomberg

Breezy Point is beautiful in the summertime, a quaint neighborhood sitting on a slim peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic just south of New York City.

In a storm, though, that dreamy setting can become a nightmare.


Luxury Home Sales Boom in Sao Paulo With Low Rates Spurring Demand

July 1, 2019
Cristiane Lucchesi - Bloomberg

It took less than a month to sell half the units in a Sao Paulo luxury apartment building earlier this year, even though construction won’t be complete until 2022. And one brokerage that specializes in high-end real estate saw its revenue double in the first four months of this year.

The luxury residential-property market in Brazil’s biggest city is booming with demand from rich Brazilians, fed up with the toll record low interest rates are taking on their portfolios. Gone are the days of double-digit returns on simple treasury securities, so many of the rich are trying to capitalize on soaring prices in the high-end real estate market.


U.S. Homebuilder Sentiment Rises to Seven-Month High in May

June 25, 2019
Reade Pickert - Bloomberg

Sentiment among U.S. homebuilders increased in May by more than expected, sustaining this year’s upward swing on stronger sales and lower mortgage rates.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index rose to 66, the highest level since October as all three main measures increased, according to a report Wednesday. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view conditions as good than poor.
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U.S. Housing Starts Climb More Than Forecast as Permits Rise

June 18, 2019
Reade Pickert - Bloomberg

U.S. new-home construction rose for a second month and topped estimates in April in a sign of positive momentum for the housing sector at the start of the second quarter.

Residential starts increased 5.7% to a 1.24 million annualized rate after a 1.7% gain in March that was previously reported as a drop, according to government figures released Thursday. Permits, a proxy for future construction, advanced 0.6% to a 1.30 million rate.
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Living Building Challenge Group Relaxes Requirements

June 10, 2019
Nadine M. Post - Engineering News-Record

The International Living Future Institute, steward of the world’s most demanding sustainable-building program, is no longer satisfied with its boutique status as a third-party certifier of super-green buildings. ILFI, on a course to scale up the number of participants and scale down the rigors of its Living Building Challenge, recently introduced a less rigorous option for LBC certification, called Core Green Building Certification.

Ms. Post may be contacted at postn@enr.com


Three Worker Fatalities in NYC in Single Week Prompt Focus on Safety

June 3, 2019
Eydie Cubarrubia - Engineering News-Record

After three New York City construction workers died on the job within six days, officials are demanding stronger safety measures and promising punitive action against those responsible.

Ms. Cubarrubia may be contacted at cubarrubiae@enr.com


EPRO Provides Adaptable Below-Grade Protection for Complex Apartment Site

May 27, 2019
Engineering News-Record

Strata is located in the popular East Village neighborhood of San Diego. The apartment complex consists of two connected towers built over one large below grade parking structure. One tower stands at six stories tall, the other reaches 23 stories.

Strata was constructed multiple stories below the water table in extreme close proximity to a former gas station and dry cleaners, according to Michael Hyduk of Specified Products, Inc., - and product representative for EPRO Services, Inc, who are developers of redundant, field-installed composite systems for below waterproofing and contaminant barrier solutions.

ENR may be contacted at ENR.com@bnpmedia.com


EPRO Provides Adaptable Below-Grade Protection for Complex Apartment Site

May 27, 2019
Engineering News-Record

Strata is located in the popular East Village neighborhood of San Diego. The apartment complex consists of two connected towers built over one large below grade parking structure. One tower stands at six stories tall, the other reaches 23 stories.

Strata was constructed multiple stories below the water table in extreme close proximity to a former gas station and dry cleaners, according to Michael Hyduk of Specified Products, Inc., - and product representative for EPRO Services, Inc, who are developers of redundant, field-installed composite systems for below waterproofing and contaminant barrier solutions.

ENR may be contacted at ENR.com@bnpmedia.com


Case Study: Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Paradise Valley, AZ

May 20, 2019
Engineering News-Record

Located in the aptly-named Paradise Valley, AZ, the Ritz-Carlton residences is set to combine a luxury hotel with high-end living. The project encompasses 200-room Ritz-Carlton resort that will be surrounded by 91 single-level villas and 45 single-family homes. The hotel will also be home to the longest pool in North America, spanning 400 feet, and a 30,000 square-foot spa featuring indoor and outdoor treatment areas. Guests will also be able to take advantage of a state-of-the-art health and fitness center, indoor and outdoor meeting and event space, a citrus orchard, a garden that will have seasonal produce harvested by on-site restaurants, walking paths and a grand lawn.

ENR may be contacted at ENR.com@bnpmedia.com


Land Banking. Why Consider It?

May 13, 2019
Lauren L. Munsell - Snell & Wilmer Real Estate Litigation Blog

For homebuilders, financing a real estate transaction, oftentimes via an institutional lender, is common place in the industry. But what is land banking and why should it be considered by homebuilders?

Land banking is an off-balance sheet financing structure whereby the land banker purchases fee title to the homebuilder’s desired lots – instead of the homebuilder. Simultaneously, the homebuilder enters into an option agreement with the land banker wherein the homebuilder obtains an option to purchase the desired lots from the land banker. Such option is generally secured by a non-refundable option fee paid by the homebuilder to the land banker.

Ms. Munsell may be contacted at lmunsell@swlaw.com


Skender’s Modular Revolution: An Interview with Angela Spadoni

May 6, 2019
Aarni Heiskanen - AEC Business

I had the pleasure of interviewing architect Angela Spadoni, the director of residential architecture at Skender. On this podcast episode, we discuss how the company is taking the industry forward with modular construction.

Skender is one of Fast Company’s “World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2019”. Last year, the Chicago-based construction, design and manufacturing firm launched Skender Manufacturing to produce modular apartment units. We discuss the company’s new, vertically integrated business model, what makes it stand out, and the value it will provide to stakeholders.

Mr. Heiskanen may be contacted at aec-business@aepartners.fi


JPMorgan Says Lower Interest Rates Heal All for Homebuilders

May 1, 2019
Felice Maranz - Bloomberg

Homebuilder stocks may be poised to keep rallying, with investor optimism about lower interest rates likely priming them to overlook any possible disappointments in KB Home and Lennar Corp. earnings, JPMorgan’s Michael Rehaut wrote in a note.

A lower 10-year Treasury yield “heals all wounds,” Rehaut said.


Homebuilders' Earnings Boosted by Falling Mortgage Rates

April 22, 2019
Prashant Gopal & Sydney Maki - Bloomberg

Falling mortgage rates are giving a lift to U.S. homebuilders just in time for the key spring selling season.

Lennar Corp. on Wednesday reported a jump in home orders that beat the company’s own projections. While KB Home had a slight drop in orders, they were also better than expected. Both companies expressed optimism that demand would strengthen in the coming months.


U.S. Homebuilder Sentiment Rises to Six-Month High as Sales Gain

April 17, 2019
Katia Dmitrieva - Bloomberg

Sentiment among U.S. homebuilders climbed to a six-month high in April, another indication that the housing market is gathering momentum during the crucial spring season.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index rose 1 point to 63, matching the median estimate in Bloomberg’s survey of economists, on improvements in present sales and buyer traffic, data released Tuesday showed. Readings over 50 indicate more builders view conditions as good than poor.


Santa Rosa Recreates Permitting, Construction System 'On the Fly'

April 10, 2019
Pam Radtke Russell - Engineering News-Record

As construction started gearing up late last year to rebuild some 3,000 homes in Santa Rosa burned by the 2017 Tubbs Fire, there were several challenges. One of the greatest was the shortage of concrete.

Ms. Russell may be contacted at Russellp@bnpmedia.com


Infrastructure, Residential Projects Spur NY Region

April 3, 2019
Eydie Cubarrubia - Engineering News-Record

Thanks to the new buildings and infrastructure that began construction in 2018, regional residents and visitors should soon be able to get around a lot easier in the New York and New Jersey region and enjoy a host of new living spaces and entertainment options.

Ms. Cubarrubia may be contacted at cubarrubiae@enr.com


Experiments Showcased at KIRA-digi Climate Corner

March 27, 2019
Aarni Heiskanen - AEC Business

IRA-digi Climate Corner showcased experimental projects that help save energy and reduce emissions in residential environments.

KIRA-digi Climate Corner took place at Asuntomarkkinat, the leading residential market event in Finland on January 29, 2019.

Mr. Heiskanen may be contacted at aec-business@aepartners.fi


NYC's Trendy Neighborhood Leaps Into Top Five Richest Zip Codes

March 18, 2019
Shelly Hagan & Wei Lu - Bloomberg

Finally, a New York City neighborhood has landed a coveted spot on Bloomberg’s annual ranking of America’s richest zip codes. And no, it’s not Billionaires’ Row where residences have sold for more than $100 million.

Instead, Tribeca -- a neighborhood in downtown Manhattan near the World Trade Center -- is making noise.


Homebuilder Persimmon Plc Profit Tops 1 Billion Pounds After Help-to-Buy Boost

March 4, 2019
Jack Sidders - Bloomberg

Persimmon Plc became the first U.K. homebuilder to report profit of more than 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) as the government’s Help-to-Buy policy bolstered sales.

The York, England-based company was among the biggest gainers in the FTSE 100 index of stocks on Tuesday after it announced a 13 percent rise in pretax profit. Help to Buy accounts for about half of Persimmon’s sales and selling homes built on cheap land to buyers benefiting from the interest-free loans helped the company achieve record margins.



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