Survey: Builder Traffic Back to Pre-COVID Highs, Demand Still Stable
October 20, 2020
Our latest State of the Industry Report, compiled by the research firm BTIG, indicates that sales centers are returning to near-normal operations for most of our builder respondents.
With 90 respondents in total for this report, 67 percent noted year-over-year increases in customer traffic in September compared to 58 percent for August. In fact, builder traffic, quality of traffic and traffic relative to expectations were all at, or tied, with survey-record highs.
Traffic to sales centers matched a survey record high also found in February 2020.
Meanwhile, sales demand continues to remain robust despite price increases, and it’s believed builders will be able to sustain pricing power assuming rates stay low.
Highlights from the latest State of the Industry Report
Sales and traffic. Sales trends moderated slightly from record highs in July. Still, they’re stable with 67 percent of respondents reporting year-over-year increases in sales orders (compared to 69 percent in August and 45 percent in September 2019). Only six percent of respondents saw a decrease in year-over-year sales orders. More builders, at 76 percent, also reported better quality of builder traffic year-over-year compared to 65 percent in August.
Expectations. Sales and traffic relative to expectations remained elevated with 69 percent reporting sales as better than expected compared to 62 percent in August. A record high 58 percent saw traffic as better than expected compared to 57 percent in August.
Pricing and incentives. Builders are continuing to raise prices with 75 percent raising some, most or all base prices in September from August (up from 70 percent). Incentive use remains relatively low with only nine percent increasing some, most or all sales incentives compared to six percent in August and 27 percent in September 2019.
Input costs. Material costs continue to be an issue with 94 percent of respondents reporting month-over-month increases — a record high that ties with August. Lumber costs remain a common complaint anecdotally, but only 42 and 43 percent of respondents reported month-over-month increases in the cost of labor and land, respectively.
HomeSphere/BTIG State of the Industry Report
HomeSphere partners with the research firm BTIG to create a monthly report to provide our builders and manufacturers with exclusive and timely insights about the market.
To compile the report, we survey HomeSphere’s 2,600+ regional and local home builders about sales, traffic, pricing, labor costs and other key industry metrics.
How to get the monthly report
If you are a builder and would like to participate and receive the monthly report for free, request an invitation below: