December 2013

Boom, bust, or in between, homebuilders ready themselves with technology.

There is an old adage: Statistics don’t lie; but look out for statisticians. The economy in the last half of 2013 can be called many things, but calm isn’t likely to be one. From the federal government coming to a shutdown on October 1, to the roll-out the same day of the new Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges, the news was filled with rancor and remonstrations. The impact of what happened October 1 will not be fully felt for months, but the short-term impact on construction—commercial, residential, and infrastructure—will most likely be negative. Then again, the market wasn’t exactly healthy in the months leading up to October.

Or was it? Here is where you can pick an economist or a set of figures, and see what you want to see. In a report, “The Long and Winding Road,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch Economist Michelle Meyer said, “Greater uncertainty coupled with higher mortgage rates, supply constraints in the homebuilding industry, and disappointing household formation through the summer has prompted us to recently lower our forecast for housing starts. We are now looking for housing starts of 930,000 this year, down from our prior forecast of 975,000.”

Read more in Constructech magazine’s print version.

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