Home builders generally are optimistic about next year, but slow consumer income growth and other headwinds are creating a fair amount of pessimism for some.
How builders rate the 2013 housing recovery depends on their zip code. Housing starts nationwide through August are 23 percent ahead of last year’s pace, but 44.2 percent of builders participating in the 2014 Market Outlook Survey rated this year as mediocre-to-poor. Most of those builders hailed from the Middle Atlantic (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania), Mid-South (Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee) and the Great Lakes (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin) regions.
Methodology and Respondent InformationThis survey was distributed between October 22 and November 7, 2013, to a random sample of Professional Builder’s print and digital readers. No incentive was offered. By closing date, a total of 211 eligible readers responded. Respondent breakdown by discipline: 28 percent custom home builders; 25.1 percent diversified builder/remodelers; 16.9 percent production builders for move-up buyers; 6.3 percent production builders for first-time buyers; 4.4 percent architects engaged in home building; 3.9 percent manufactured or modular builders; 3.4 percent luxury production; 1.5 percent multifamily; and 10.6 percent other. Forty-seven percent of respondents will sell one to five homes in 2013, and 25.5 percent will sell more than 50 homes.