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Building Solutions Construction Data and Trends Vol 55, March 31, 2017

Every two weeks, Oldcastle Building Solutions Business Intelligence prepares a report focused on understanding and analyzing construction market data and trends.

This in-depth report is developed primarily for internal distribution, but Oldcastle Building Solutions exists to inform construction professionals like you, so we're making this report available for anyone who's interested in reading it.

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What's New In This Report?

Construction Highlights


Builders’ confidence jumped to 71 in March 2017, but is expected to moderate

February 2017 ABI returned to positive territory (above neutral) with 50.7 score

Construction Update

Construction Update

February 2017 Housing Permits up 4.4% since last year; Starts also up 6.2% in year

New Single Family sales: 592K houses, 12.8% above the February 2016 estimate

Economic Update

Economic Update

27 of 51 large MSAs show 12-month unemployment decreases

U.S. Homeownership rate 2016 was 63.4% below 2015 rate of 63.7%


Key Takeaways

  • The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) in March 2017 jumped 6 points to 71. While it was the highest reading since 2005, moderation in future index scores is expected
  • The Architectural Billings Index (ABI), a 9-12 month leading indicator for commercial construction, returned to positive territory in February 2017 with a score of 50.7
  • Housing permits made gains in February 2017 to 1.2M, 4.4% above February 2016's rate. While Single Family permits made gains over the year up 13.5%, Multi-Family permits contracted by 11.2%
  • Housing starts increased in February 2017 by 6.2% from last year to 1.3M. Single Family starts were up 3.2% and Multi-Family starts were up 13% from last year
  • 592K new Single Family homes were sold in February 2017, 12.8% above the February 2016 rate
  • 27 of the 51 large MSAs (1M+ population) showed year-over-year unemployment rate decreases in January 2016, with Salt Lake City having the lowest rate of 3%
  • In 2016, the national homeownership rate was 63.4%, down from 63.7% in 2015 and the peak of Homeownership in 2004 at 69%

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