Confidence that the economic cycle for home building
is still on the upswing remains steady as half of
builders and architects in Professional Builder’s 2018
Market Forecast expect to sell/design more houses
Just 13.9 percent project completing fewer projects
in 2018. More than 85 percent rated 2017 as either good, very
good, or an excellent business year for their company. Those
findings track with a separate midyear survey that industry
consultant Builder Partnerships (BP) distributed to 336 home
builders asking if their actual closings numbers thus far had
changed from what they forecast at the beginning of the year.
More than 43 percent—almost all of them projecting to close
more houses than in 2017—said there was no difference between
their estimated and actual pace; 10.4 percent reported
actual closings exceeded expectations by 5 percent or less, and
20 percent saw midyear closings increase by more than 5 percent
from their original estimates.
Entry-level homes ranked among the top market opportunities
for 2018, although building for first-time buyers trailed
far behind custom and production move-up clients. Move-up
homes, which have been the primary engine for the industry’s
recovery, were cited as a growth opportunity by most respondents,
followed by smaller houses. In the BP survey, just 7.4 percent
of members said they were building smaller this year; 17.8
percent were constructing larger houses, and 67.5 percent said
that their average square footage was the same as the previous
year. See the charts that follow for more survey results about
expectations for 2018.
The majority of survey respondents expect the cost of materials and labor to increase yet are generally optimistic about their prospects for 2018.