As Global Construction Sector Foresees Contraction, U.S. Sees Growth Ahead

Feb. 17, 2107

The global construction sector is in the midst of a long-term stable period as credit insurer Euler Hermes sees overall growth of 3.5% this year, slightly better than last year’s 3.4%, while growth in advanced economies like the U.S. will supplant contraction in emerging economies.

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Single-Family Housing Starts Gain in January while Total U.S. Starts Drop

Feb. 16, 2017

Single-family housing starts increased 1.9% on the month in January at a seasonally adjusted rate of 823,000, though the overall housing-starts figure dropped, with the slowdown concentrated in the multifamily sector, according the latest report from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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Home Builders’ Confidence Falls Back to Normal Territory in February

Feb. 15, 2017

New single-family home builders’ confidence fell two points in February to a reading of 65 on the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Still in overall positive territory, sentiment fell in all areas except the West, which could reflect the slowdown associated with more normal winter weather, noted Wells Fargo analysts. The prospective buyers’ traffic measure saw the biggest decline, dropping five points in February, while homebuilders continued to say that supply side factors, including increasing fuel prices, kept them from making price reductions.

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Natural Gas Price Hikes Ramp Up Construction Input Prices in January

Feb. 14, 2017

Construction input prices in January rose at their swiftest pace in five years, mostly due to a 23.6% monthly bump in natural gas prices, according to an analysis of Labor Department statistics by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).

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Forged Bonds to Public Minnesota Jobs Show Need for Job Information Upfront

Feb. 13, 2017

A Minneapolis man’s recent sentencing to almost seven years in prison for committing fraud in obtaining some $3 million in public construction contracts and stiffing subcontractors and others for several hundreds of thousands of dollars highlights the need for construction creditors to conduct their due diligence on job accounts.

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Illinois Case Highlights Need to Check Contract Clauses, Reduce Impact of Pay-If-Paid Clauses

Feb. 10, 2017

A recent Illinois case illustrates the importance for material suppliers and other contractors to scan their purchase orders or other contracts to which they are a party and attempt to modify or strike pay-if-paid clauses.

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Industrial Real Estate Realized Strong Revenue Growth in 2016; Asset Prices May Slow This Year

Feb. 9, 2017

Uncertainties surrounding recently implemented commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) risk-retention rules, as well as slowing revenue in key property types, are some of the sources of potential trouble ahead for the commercial real estate sector, according to a new Wells Fargo report.

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Lack of Building Permits Continues to Stifle Housing Growth

Feb. 8, 2016

New-home construction was subdued in many U.S. markets in the fourth quarter of 2016, with builders reporting regulatory barriers as the main factor holding them from a better showing, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

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Lending Standards Tighten Somewhat for Commercial Real Estate Construction

Feb. 7, 2017

While loan officers surveyed by the Federal Reserve in the final three months of 2016 said lending standards were mostly unchanged, about a third of the firms said they had tightened standards for commercial real estate construction and land development loans, Reuters said.

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New Guide to Surety Bonds Helpful for Trade Creditors

Feb. 6, 2017

Construction creditors who want to learn more about how surety bonds work with respect to their businesses can now turn to a new guide drafted by The Surety & Fidelity Association of America and the Governing Institute.

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