Energy Efficiency in New Home Construction: Beyond an Amenity

Homebuyers are savvier than ever when it comes to knowing what they want in a home. In addition to functional floorplans and new finishes and features, energy efficiency continues to top the list of desired amenities. Builders who understand and can communicate energy-efficient benefits can provide unique added value to the growing number of buyers who, whether they recognize it or not, want these features in their homes.

There’s a reason that energy-efficient homes are selling well. They not only...

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Can we break our 10-year cycle of mediocrity?

Atlanta, the former No. 1 new-home market, remains a barometer for the nation. At 25,000 permits, Atlanta is still the third largest new home market in the U.S., but almost nine years into our “recovery,” we are still 50 percent below our pre-bubble normal (Atlanta permit chart). This is in spite of nearly a decade of positive job growth, positive in-migration and population growth. All of MarketNsight’s 18 cities across the Southeast exhibit this trend. Most cities are still anywhere from 30 percent to 60 percent below...

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Homebuilder sentiment drops in June due to soaring lumber costs

U.S. homebuilders are thrilled with demand for housing, but they say they are being hamstrung by rising costs for lumber.

Builder sentiment fell 2 points to 68 in June, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. The index stood at 66 last June. A reading above 50 is considered positive sentiment.

Builder sentiment has been mostly in the 70s since December, except for one dip in April, when mortgage rates took a sizable jump. This time, the weakness is...

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Why Have Interest Rates Jumped to a 7-Year High?


Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage have climbed from 3.95 percent in the first week of January up to 4.61 percent last week, which marks a 7-year high according to Freddie Mac. The current pace of acceleration has been fueled by many factors.


Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist, had this to say:


“Healthy consumer spending and higher commodity prices spooked bond markets and led to higher mortgage rates over the past week.


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