Number Crunch

Lumber prices unexpectedly rose 32% on the futures market this year -- not good news for stressed-out home builders.

February 28, 2010


10,000,000 The number of solar energy systems that would be installed on the rooftops of homes and businesses over the next decade if the newly introduced 10 Million Solar Roofs and 10 Million Gallons of Solar Water Heating Act of 2010 is passed. The legislation would, among other things, cover up to half the cost of 10 million solar power systems and 200,000 water heating systems.


90 The percent of home builders that are expected to lose sales because of the new FHA guidelines. The tighter underwriting rules include a 10 percent downpayment for borrowers with credit scores of less than 580 and a reduction in seller concessions to 3 percent of the value of the property.

$58 million The amount in damages awarded by a jury to an elderly couple, who since 2000 have been battling Houston-based Perry Homes over construction defects in their Fort Worth, Texas, home. The builder refused to concede that defects caused damages to the couple’s $233,730 home.

68 The percent of U.S. households that remain strongly committed to federal support for home buyers, according a recent survey by NAHB. In addition, 65 percent of respondents believe the government should be doing more to keep families from losing their homes to foreclosure.


$3,000 The maximum amount in energy-efficiency product/service rebates homeowners will be eligible for under President Obama’s newly launched Homestar program, commonly known as Cash for Caulkers.


9.2 The percent increase in multifamily housing starts in January, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. Investors are encouraged by the number of people between the ages of 20 and 34 (prime renting age), which is expected to grow by 5 million over the next decade, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Think about it


32 The percent rise in lumber prices on the futures market this year, according to the Wall Street Journal. The sudden and unexpected surge could raise construction costs or force builders to swallow an added expense, writes WSJ.


5,449 The number of residential lots in Florida that Starwood Land Ventures LLC purchased last month from bankrupt land developer TOUSA. Starwood paid $81 million for the property, and has since sold 2,700 of the lots to Lennar Corp.