Morning Briefing: Builder confidence remains strong

by Steve Randall19 Apr 2016
Builder confidence remains strong
Builders have remained confident in the market for newly-built single-family homes in April. The National Association of Homebuilders says that its market index, in association with Wells Fargo, has remained at 58 for three straight months; anything above 50 is positive.

Ed Bradby, NAHB chair and builder from Bloomington,Ill, said that the figures show a “slow but consistent pace” and that as the spring buying season picks up the market should grow.

“Builders remain cautiously optimistic about construction growth in 2016,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Solid job creation and low mortgage interest rates will sustain continued gains in the single-family housing market in the months ahead.”  
Californian realtors to address housing affordability crisis
The affordability of homes in California is the focus of an event on April 28 which will bring the California Association of Realtors together with the University of California Center Sacramento in order to address the issues that the state’s potential homebuyers face.

The event follows the latest CAR data which shows that the statewide median home price increased almost 9 per cent in the month to March and 4 per cent from a year earlier to reach $483,280.

CAR President Pat “Ziggy” Zicarelli said that sales are restricted in areas of low inventory and low affordability: “For example, in the Bay Area, where inventory is extremely tight, annual sales are down in the double-digits in seven of the region’s nine counties. Solano and Sonoma, two counties where homes are relatively more affordable, were the exceptions. Home sales in these two counties grew from last year by nearly 11 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively.”

Overall sales of single-family homes in California were up 5.5 per cent in March compared to February and up 5.7 per cent from a year earlier.
Investors want more real estate says Brookfield
Brookfield Asset Management says that its clients are looking to boost their real estate portfolios. The fund manager now has U$9 billion worth of commitments for a private real estate fund called Brookfield Strategic Real Estate Partners II. The US, Brazil and Europe are among the top locations for investors’ growth plans.
HomeLight secures $11 million investment
Real estate agent marketplace HomeLight has secured $11 million in funding from Zeev Ventures. The San Francisco based firm enables homebuyers to compare transactions from realtors in order to select the best performing in their area. It says on its website: “Ultimately, we take the guessing game out of finding an agent and allow you to pick from the cream of the crop.”

The new backing from Zeev, which will also see Oren Zeev join HomeLight’s board, brings the start-up’s total investment to date to $15 million according to


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