When home builders are asked which information they deem most critical to the improvement of their businesses, info about new products is always near the top of the list. And for good reason.
Number Crunch: August 2008
$8 a gallon? Yes, we're talking about oil.
Pulte Homes has moved forward into the third phase of its Sun City Shadow Hills project, an active-adult community. There are plans to add 947 homes, a new clubhouse and an 18-hole golf course. When the phase is completed, Sun City Shadow Hills will have about 3,424 homes, two clubhouses and two 18-hole golf courses to choose from. According to Pulte, it has closed escrow on 131 homes since January. Pulte is on a roll!
Home builders are buying land again! Lennar spent $162 million on land in second quarter and plans to spend $200 million more by end of the fourth quarter, the company reports.
Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf coast in late 2005. But as of late May, 23,000 families were still living in Federal Emergency Management Agency temporary housing units, according to FEMA.
The Federal Housing Administration is expected to lose $4.6 billion because it had to pull $4.6 billion from its $21 billion capital reserve fund to cover the costs from the high default rates on home loans, reports The New York Times.
In a past issue, we reported that a barrel of oil was $101 and climbing to a predicted $120 a barrel, which translates roughly to $4 a gallon. Yeah ... we've passed that. Apparently that won't be the worst of it. MarketWatch predicts $8 a gallon for gas by the end of the year. Ouch.
New Jersey needs 115,000 new affordable housing units. The state may have an answer; for every five units of market-rate housing built, one unit of affordable housing will need to be built, The New York Times reports.
Ed McMahon, former sidekick for Johnny Carson on "The Tonight Show," and his wife are $644,000 behind on their mortgage payments on a $4.8 million mortgage. They're in negotiations with their lender, Countrywide Home Loans, to set a foreclosure date.
A survey on housing data conducted by Global Insight, a financial research firm, and banking corporation National City Corp. found that only eight of 330 housing markets are overvalued. According to the survey, housing affordability is back to pre-bubble levels.