Brexit Affecting Construction Firms

July 9, 2018

With less than nine months until the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, many are already feeling the effect of Brexit. According to a recent report from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), a third of construction employers are being impacted by the U.K.’s referendum to exit the EU, which is up 9% from just a year ago.

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Saskatchewan to Introduce Prompt Payment Legislation

July 6, 2018

Another Canadian province is updating legislation to help the construction industry. Initial amendments to Ontario’s Construction Lien Act went into effect July 1, increasing lien time tables to give contractors and subcontractors an extra 15 days to preserve a lien. New rules to prompt payments will go into effect in fall 2019. Saskatchewan is following suit with a similar prompt payment legislation.

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Nonresidential Construction Spending Continues to Increase, Private Looks Unstable

July 3, 2018 The demand for single-family homes remains high with nonresidential construction spending also on the increase. Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) found nonresidential construction spending rose 0.1% from April to May, seeing a total increase of 3% from last year. Despite this increase for the public sector, the private sector saw a dip of 0.3% in May. The private sector still saw a small increase of 1.8% for the year, even with the setback from April to May. Economic expansion and state policymakers likely contributed to the public increase, ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu speculates. Throughout the past 10 years, the economy has been expanding in both the local and state government, allowing for more money to be spent on more projects. Similarly, 31 states expanded transportation funding, with 24 taxing gas prices for the public sector. Overseas trade wars and tariffs likely contributed to the fall in the private sector, yet the overall increase from last year remains bewildering still. With uncertainty in the market, those working on private projects need to remain cautious while international politics continue to disrupt the system. The next few quarters, Basu said, will likely be much different for the private sector. —Christie Citranglo, editorial associate
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American Homebuilders Incorporate Robots Into Workforce

June 27, 2018

With the demand up for single-family homes and the amount of laborers down, homebuilders explore the use of robots on the job. With 910,000 homes expected to be built by the end of 2018, creative problem solving kicks in with robots taking on the jobs more quickly and for much less cost than a traditional labor force.

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Millennials Boost New Home Sales in May

June 26, 2018

More Millennials shifting to the single-family housing market are behind the latest boost in new home sales—the second-highest reported sales in roughly a decade. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau, single-family home sales increased 6.7% in May, following a 1.5% decline in April.

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Construction Material Prices in May Spell ‘Bad News’ for Sector

June 21, 2018

May’s construction material prices are “bad news” for the sector, according to Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC), following its analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that revealed the largest monthly increase in a decade. The latest data, released on June 13, indicated a 2.2% increase month-over-month (MoM) and an 8.8% increase since May 2017.

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Builder Confidence Dips Slightly in June

June 19, 2018

Builder confidence for newly-built single-family homes took a step back in June, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The index dipped to 68 this month, just shy of the six-month average of 70.

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Year-Over-Year Nonresidential Construction Spending Jumps 6% in April

June 6, 2018

Although there was no fluctuation in April’s month-over-month (MoM) nonresidential construction spending, the U.S. Census Bureau revealed a 6% gain over last year’s spending, the highest year-over-year (YOY) increase coming from within the conservation and development sector. In its analysis of the bureau’s data, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) reported boosts in YOY private and public-sector spending by 5.3% and 7.3%, respectively.

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April New Home Sales Dip, Builder Confidence Remains up

May 24, 2018 While the demand for newly built, single-family homes increases, the sales of these homes dipped 1.5% in April, with an annual rate of 662,000 units. This follows a downwardly revised March report, which was made public by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. According to a monthly survey performed by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), the demand for these homes rose two points in May. Builders’ confidence still remains high despite this slip recorded in the new report, and new home sales are predicted to see an upward trend regardless. The March report defines a “home sale” as the moment a contract is signed or a deposit is accepted—not when the money reaches the hands of the builders. The home can be completed, still in construction or not even started. The report also adjusted for seasonal variables, with the 662,000 units serving as an extrapolation of the number of homes that will likely sell throughout the next 12 months. On a regional scale, the Northeast saw an 11.1% increase and the South saw a 0.3% increase, while sales in the West fell 7.9% and the Midwest remained stagnant. —Christie Citranglo, editorial associate
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Builder Confidence for Single-Family Homes Rises, May Continue

May 18, 2018 Following a decline in April, builder confidence for newly built single-family homes rose two points in May, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), surveyed monthly. The HMI has reached 70, making this month the fourth time in 2018 the HMI has achieved a level of at least 70. The demand for new, single-family homes will likely continue to increase, setting a steady upward trend for the forthcoming months. A number of factors contributed to this change, including tight housing inventory, employment gains and demographic tailwinds. Lumber is still at a record-high price, which can potentially hurt builders’ bottom lines and stunt the speed at which these competitively-priced homes can be built and put on the market.  According to the HMI chart, current sales rose by two points to 76 in May. Indices measuring buyer traffic and expectations throughout the next six months were stagnant at 51 and 77, respectively. In terms of three-month moving averages in regional sectors of the HMI, the South and Midwest saw downward trends, dipping to 72 and 65. The West and Northeast remained steady at 76 and 55.-Christie Citranglo, editorial associate
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