Jon's Reading List - Week of May 28, 2021

Posted By: Jon Lowder Blog ,

Interesting stuff I'm reading this week:

Housing

Builders Advised to Stock Up On Lumber, Steel as Shortages Loom (GlobeSt.com, May 26, 2021)

Construction firms should stockpile a supply of critical materials like lumber and steel they’ll need for projects in the second half of the year, as experts predict shortages will continue to plague the building industry...Esposito also cautions that builders should avoid locking in any long- or medium-term prices at current levels.‚Äč JLL notes in a recent analysis that major commodities firms predict steel prices will peak during this quarter and will begin declining over the second half of 2021.

US Home Price Growth Accelerated in March (Wall Street Journal, May 25, 2021)
Home-price growth climbed in March to the highest level in more than 15 years, as strong demand continued to outweigh the housing supply.
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, which measures average home prices in major metropolitan areas across the nation, rose 13.2% in the year that ended in March, up from an 12% annual rate the prior month. March marked the highest annual rate of price growth since December 2005.
Robust homebuying demand, driven by ultralow mortgage interest rates, and a shortage of homes for sale have pushed prices rapidly higher in recent months. There were 1.07 million homes on the market at the end of March, down 28.2% from a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors.

In Tight Housing Market, Thousands of Homes are Reserved for Certain Buyers (Wall Street Journal, May 26, 2021)
Real-estate agents are selling more homes to select customers while bypassing the public market, a move that squeezes supply tighter for many buyers when inventory is already near record lows.

In the vast majority of transactions, an agent lists a home for sale on a local database and markets the property widely to drum up interest and get the best price. But in certain cases, a broker will show an unlisted property to a small circle of potential buyers more exclusively, often in hope of getting a deal done quickly.

Turning office buildings into housing will be the next frontier of real estate (Triad Business Journal, May 20, 2021)
Turning office spaces into housing is not an easy task. Noted architect Roger K. Lewis, a professor emeritus of architecture at the University of Maryland who has studied the conversion challenges, says it is possible – but it also will be expensive.
Just think about the possibilities. Companies that are leaving these office buildings can work with architectural firms and city officials to turn those structures into residential space and offer it back to employees who want to live downtown or midtown. If there’s some 15 years left on the lease, the company and the developer can present the conversion plan to city and county officials for help with the cost, and in return make rental rates affordable for the workers.