Builders are more optimistic about the industry as the overall economy becomes less of a concern, even as the rising cost of materials and labor commands more attention.
Asked to rate 2014 as a business year for their companies, slightly more than a third of builders responding to Professional Builder’s 2015 Market Forcast survey indicated it was mediocre to poor, an improvement from 44.2 percent who graded 2013 as a down period for their operations. More than 42 percent said their company sold more houses this year versus last year compared with 35.6 percent who sold “about the same” and 22.2 percent who closed on fewer houses than they did in 2013.
Methodology and Respondent Information: This survey was distributed between Oct. 22 and Oct. 31, 2014, to a random sample of Professional Builder’s print and digital readers. No incentive was offered. By closing date, a total of 208 eligible readers completed the survey. Respondent breakdown by discipline: 22.3 percent custom homebuilder; 21.4 percent diversified builder/remodeler; 19.4 percent production builder for move-up/move-down buyers; 9.7 percent architect/designer engaged in homebuilding; 6.3 percent multifamily; 6.3 percent luxury production builder; 4.4 percent manufactured, modular, log home, or systems builder; 3.9 percent production builder for first-time buyers; and 6.3 percent other. Approximately 41.8 percent of respondents sold one to five homes in 2013, and 26.3 percent sold more than 50 homes.
Annual revenue compared with the previous year rose for 53.7 percent of respondents, and 61.1 percent project their company’s receipts will increase in 2015. Optimism abounds in the industry with 71.5 percent of survey participants anticipating next year to be “good” or “very good” for their companies.
For more survey results about 2015 expectations, see the charts that follow.