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Industry Snapshot: Home Builders Are Confident and Tiny Tiles Are In

October 29, 2019

Industry Snapshot: Home Builder Confidence is High and Tiny Tiles Are In

Industry Snapshot is our monthly round-up of top news stories related to the residential home building industry.

In October, we saw home builder confidence rise to a 20-month high and support grow for affordable housing policies. And, who'd have known, we also learned that tiny tiles are making a big comeback in the design world.

U.S. home builder confidence rises to 71 points. That’s the highest reading since February 2018, according to the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo. Their October Housing Market index indicates the nation’s low interest rates and strong job market propelled the confidence. “The housing rebound that began in the spring continues, supported by low mortgage rates, solid job growth and a reduction in new home inventory,” NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde said. [Housing Wire]

Support for affordable housing policies is growing. With home prices viewed as unattainable to many, more homebuyers are now saying they’re willing to support policies that impact affordable housing. Redfin surveyed more than 3,000 residents who bought or sold a primary residence in the last year to reach their conclusions. Thirty-four percent of respondents said they supported policies to keep homes more affordable. [Housing Wire]

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Slow payments cost general contractors and subs billions annually. A study by the construction finance platform Rabbet found slow payments are costing general contractors and sub-contractors $64 billion annually. [Building Design+Construction]

Tiny tiles are back with a modern twist. Small mosaic tiles are resonating with homeowners who want uniquely patterned and expressive floors. "Mosaics are appealing because they can adapt to different period styles and can be used in so many applications; they're both timeless and versatile," Keith Bieneman, owner of Heritage Tile in Oak Park, Illinois, told the Washington Post. "They're also wildly photogenic." [West Central Tribune]

AI and automation are a win for multifamily. More multifamily organizations are using artificial intelligence and automation to boost smart-home technology efforts, and to assist prospects and recruit employees. Some communities offer tours that allow potential buyers to view a community without interacting with an associate. Chatbots, automated credit screening and more are also being employed. [GlobeSt.com]

As households age, the emphasis on accessibility is increasing. Ten percent of homeowners between 65 and 79 and 14 percent of homeowners 80 or older completed a home improvement project related to accessibility in the past year. Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies also found that the number of U.S. households headed by individuals over the age of 50 increased by approximately 5 million between 2012 and 2017. [Builder]

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